The most disappointing album of the year
I got “At War with the Mystics” that day it came out. After listening to it solidly for a week I found it intensely irritating and decided to give it up and come back to it after a few months. Same thing happened again then.
It is not disappointing because thy tried experimental stuff and it did not work, tightrope walkers need to occasionally fall off otherwise it is not impressive. I can forgive and even expect a few dodgy songs on a flaming lips album, It tells me I am not just listening to elevator music if I do have negative reactions occasionally.
I finally figured out the reason this album makes me nauseous  There is no difference between the loud bits and the quiet bits they are all incredibly loud. So the call and response of the “yeah yeah yeah song” becomes a constant sonic assault. When the foot is taken off the gas slightly like on “Goin On” you can hear how good the songs are. The wall of sound on The W.A.N.D sounds great because the contrast between loud and quiet has not been destroyed as it never existed.
When the whirrs and squeks are as loud as the tune they take away from it. Like Stalinistic architecture where no one item can be the main theme in case that style is labelled bourgsouise and gets you sent off to the gulag. Everything becomes over decorated, everything becomes important so nothing is.
This album is disappointing because the songs are so good. Underneath the Pollock like random blasts of sound is a subtle gem drowned out.