1. “Fight Test” is one of those cases where it’s much better than the source material.
2. The cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” sounds like a decently-executed joke.
3. Their cover of Beck’s “The Golden Age” reminds me that almost anything sounds nice if you have Radioheadish production underneath and how replaceable Beck is as a singer.
4. Their cover of “Knives Out” is one of their better covers (not only are there three in package, but their career is riddled with unnecessary ones) because they perform it in the style of “Karma Police” (ie. one piano chord for each beat for two beats, two chords per measure). But it’s still not necessary because it’s not as good as “Karma Police” and the best thing about “Knives Out” was the guitar part (entirely absent).
5. Scott Hardkiss puts a beat underneath “Do You Realize??” and then lets it go on for 9 minutes.
6. “The Strange Design of Conscience” is the sort of tuneless and overproduced thing they’d make an entire album out of on At War With the Mystics.
7. “Thank You Jack White (For the Fiber-Optic Jesus You Gave Me)” has a fun bounce that you’d find better as throwaway material on good White Stripes albums.
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The main attraction is good, but the package sucks, except the cover art – off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other album in recent(ish) times that produced as many nice covers for their singles and EPs (including the album itself) as Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
“The W.A.N.D. (The Will Always Negates Defeat)” is one of four good songs from the mostly bad At War With the Mystics, even though I think 50 Cent isn’t someone to draw inspiration from and even if the song plays its hand halfway through (after Wayne Coyne says “We got the power, now, motherfucker“). Good riff, good use of processed vocals and overdubbing that makes it seem like Wayne Coyne is yelling at the crowd with a megaphone, trying to rally them up against … the White House or whatever. The Lips’ political bend on this single (and the album) was really vague.
The single comes with two b-sides. “You Got to Hold On” employs instantly catchy vocals in the same way “Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” does, and the layered melody of the choruses stands out because for the first time from this era, they don’t succumb to burying it in overproduction. “Time Travel… Yes!!” features a stoner-fuck telling you about the power of imagination and how with it, you can time-travel.