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The Month Ahead: Music

Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne wants you to know something about the band's new record: It is not fun

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The Flaming Lips’ latest release, The Terror, was conceived while the band was recording last year’s Heady Fwends, which singer Wayne Coyne describes as “freaky, moving rock music.” If Fwends lived up to its playful title, the new album is equally well named. “You eat a bunch of candy,” says Coyne, explaining the shift in tone, “and the next thing you want is a bunch of potato chips.”

The theme of mutually dependent opposites—light and dark, pleasure and pain—runs throughout The Terror, the Lips’ 13th studio album. It’s coruscating and beautiful, but also a little taxing. “I don’t like to listen to it,” Coyne admits. “I don’t want to be in that state of mind all the time.”

Coyne does not believe, however, that Flaming Lips fans—who have grown accustomed to the band’s skewed, symphonic psychedelia—will be put off by the gloomier material. “I think that’s why it’s powerful,” he says. “It has a way of pulling you in.”

In fact, Coyne adds, there’s an upbeat edge to this light-and-dark stuff. “A truly optimistic person understands why optimism is so great,” he says, “because they understand what the other thing is.” APRIL 2

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