The Flaming Lips
Styles: experimental rock, psychedelic rock, noise pop, neo-psychedelia
Others: Butthole Surfers, Mercury Rev, Spiritualized, Grandaddy, Secret Machines
Zaireeka is the first multiple sound source record and the first that "can cause a person to become disoriented, confused or nauseated." It's a quadruple disc album that has the same songs on each disc, but the unique part is that each CD contains different parts of a song. In order to get the full listening experience, you must listen to all four CDs at the same time, which also means you need four CD players. Although, the amount of discs you choose to play is completely up to you; it's designed to provide at least some sort of listening experience, despite the amount of CDs.
Invented by frontman Wayne Coyne, the Flaming Lips have created one of the weirdest rock albums ever.
Sound impractical and troublesome? You got that right; since there are discrepancies between different CD players (cheaper ones go faster than expensive ones), it's near impossible to get the songs to sync perfectly. But once you manage to get all 4 CDs going (or at least 3), the effect is nothing short of mind blowing. This four disc musical mutant doesn't let the listener remain passive, it constantly begs for the listener to get engaged with the music.
Picture this... You're sitting in the middle of a room surrounded by four stereos and it's up to you to keep the music in sync. After several failed attempts, you manage to sync the four CDs together. Four minutes into the song, you notice a system playing faster than the others, so you quickly run to the system and press pause/play a couple times in order to get the system back in sync. You make it just in time to hear the chorus of the climactic "Riding to Work In the Year 2025 (You're Invisible Now)".
Yeah, it's a lot of work just to hear a song, but the feeling is indescribable when it is done correctly. Even to hear just 2 minutes of perfectly synced music is more rewarding than you might think. When was the last time you listened to a CD where your actions dictated the outcome?
As far as the actual music on the CD, the shift in style from Clouds Taste Metallic to Zaireeka is one giant leap. Pregnant with sweeping orchestral arrangements and other alien noises, Zaireeka is similar to Soft Bulletin, but even more experimental.
Yes, the concept of Zaireeka can be annoying, and at times frustrating, but the music is amazing and the infinite musical possibilities from these four CDs cause the album to never lose its new car smell. Think of this album as a presentation of music, or musical event, rather than just sounds coming from speakers. Rumor has it that Zaireeka will be released on DVD (because most DVD players are equipped with at least four speakers); this way the listener will be able to hear the album as it was meant to be heard for the first time. Until then, have fun failing to sync the CDs together. My recommendation: don't even try using a discman. 1. Okay I'll Admit That I Really Don't...
2. Riding to Work in the Year 2025 (Your Invisible Now)
3. Thirty-Five Thousand Feet of Despair
4. A Machine in India
5. The Train Runs over the Camel But Is...
6. How Will We Know?
7. March of the Rotten Vegetables
8. The Big Ol' Bug Is the New Baby Now