Chris Deville at Stereogum has written a nice retrospective on Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips, which was released twenty years ago. I am listening to the CD I bought not long after as I type this.

Yoshimi is the one with Do You Realize??, lovely tune that became a staple at weddings I attended over the next couple of years.

Like DeVille, I think Fight Test is far away the best track, for all the reasons he cites:

Rather than any kind of silly robot situation, “Fight Test” is about real shit: specifically, realizing too late that you should have done something rather than let your lover slip away into someone else’s arms. There’s some loopy stuff about sunbeams on the chorus, but the wonderment works like a charm in the context of the verses, each one more devastating than the next, leading to the dagger: “Cause I’m a man, not a boy/ And there are things you can’t avoid/ You have to face them when you’re not prepared to face them/ If I could, I would/ But you’re with him now, it’d do no good/ I should have fought him, but instead I let him/ I let him take you.” I don’t know whether those lyrics are based on a true story, but within the song’s gorgeous sweep, they never fail to make me verklempt.

Chris DeVille