Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

A concept collection of sorts that plays like an electronic Sgt.

A concept collection of sorts that plays like an electronic Sgt. Pepper's re-imagined as a Japanese sci-fi movie, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is as strange as it is wonderful. Beneath the sunny, computer-generated atmospherics and the campy veneer of talk about gladiator-style clashes between man and machines with emotions, Yoshimi is actually a somber rumination on love and survival in an unfathomable world. The emotional core of the record, "It's Summertime—Throbbing Orange Pallbearers," is, in fact, a bittersweet song of encouragement to the grieving sisters of a Japanese girl who suddenly died. Such underlying warmth and humanity run throughout the album and serve as an effective contrast to the Lips' penchant for futuristic psychedelia. This also gives Yoshimi a soul that fans of 1999's The Soft Bulletin—an album of similar cinematic scope and ambition—will appreciate.—BG