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The Flaming Lips — What Is the Light?
Album: The Soft Bulletin
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 888









Released: 1999
Length: 3:59
Plays (last 30 days): 0
What is the light
That you have
Shining all around you?
Is it chemically derived?

'Cause if it's natural
Something glowing from inside
Shining all around you
It's potential has arrived

Looking into space, it surrounds you
Love is the place that you're drawn to
Looking into space, it surrounds you
Love is the face that you're drawn to

Looking into space, it surrounds you
Love is the place that you're drawn to
Looking into space, it surrounds you
Love is the face that you're drawn to

What is the light
That you have
Shining all around you?
Is it chemically derived?
Comments (79)add comment
I have been listening to this band for over 20 years and their music never gets old. If anything, it gets better.
 ziggytrix wrote:

Would it convince you further if I told you the full title of this song is What Is the Light? (An Untested Hypothesis Suggesting That the Chemical by Which We Are Able to Experience the Sensation of Being in Love Is the Same Chemical That Caused the "Big Bang" That Was the Birth of the Accelerating Universe)


That's a hellofa title. Even beyond the famous SSSFAGTICGWP from Ummagumma. 
I turned on RP this Friday afternoon looking for something, as we all do, always!
But I wasn't expecting Eric Satie (Gymnopedie No. 1), Alanis Morissette (Uninvited) and Flaming Lips (What is the light?).
Totally changed my day.
Now I have a cup of very good coffee on my hand and my workweek is gone!
Long Live Radio Paradise!
Something about the melody in this reminds me of one of the Melanesian hymns featured in the movie The Thin Red Line. Don't know if it's on purpose or just a coincidence, but definitely reminds me of it.
 Chrisjea wrote:
Cowboy Junkies, Beatles, Hooverphonic...3 out of 4 is not bad.
 
Math. 2 out of 3? Cowboy Junkies the ones left out, assuming.
 ace-marc wrote:
Better than Quite Likeable. Not as good as Most Excellent. 
I've had this dilemma before.
Bill needs to revamp his rating system.
 
Yes! True.
Better than Quite Likeable. Not as good as Most Excellent. 
I've had this dilemma before.
Bill needs to revamp his rating system.
 ziggytrix wrote:

Would it convince you further if I told you the full title of this song is What Is the Light? (An Untested Hypothesis Suggesting That the Chemical by Which We Are Able to Experience the Sensation of Being in Love Is the Same Chemical That Caused the "Big Bang" That Was the Birth of the Accelerating Universe)
 Oxytocin?  Are you saying the universe began as a hypothalamus?

 flatpicker wrote:
One of my favourite albums (and the best the Lips have released)

Very nice song choice.

 I would have to choose the Yoshimi album as my favorite, but love this one as well.

 ziggytrix wrote:

Would it convince you further if I told you the full title of this song is What Is the Light? (An Untested Hypothesis Suggesting That the Chemical by Which We Are Able to Experience the Sensation of Being in Love Is the Same Chemical That Caused the "Big Bang" That Was the Birth of the Accelerating Universe)
 
That works for me, ziggytrix….I'll go 6 to 7 today based on the full title (true or not!) - Long Live RP!!
 Chrisjea wrote:
Cowboy Junkies, Beatles, Hooverphonic...3 out of 4 is not bad.

 
Wow...  I'm riding the same wave on April 6th! 🎶🎶
Cowboy Junkies, Beatles, Hooverphonic...3 out of 4 is not bad.
The Soft Bulletin was my first favorite Flaming Lips album. This was my first favorite song. {#Cool}
 randerse10 wrote:
I think this song was chemically derived . . . 

 
Would it convince you further if I told you the full title of this song is What Is the Light? (An Untested Hypothesis Suggesting That the Chemical by Which We Are Able to Experience the Sensation of Being in Love Is the Same Chemical That Caused the "Big Bang" That Was the Birth of the Accelerating Universe)
 terrapin52 wrote:
Wow. I'll just come back tonight.  I need stuff that sounds a little more polished right now. No offense.

 
You think "unpolished" is something offensive to say about the Flaming Lips?  The band likely welcomes your offense. 
ME LIKE FL!
 
Flaming Lips = The Rad
Began a 4 here; now a 7. Mood's strange.
 Felix_The_Cat wrote:
Some way, this song's start seems to me very reminiscent of the Pink Floyd  "The Wall" album
 
But mercifully improves from there.
Wow. I'll just come back tonight.  I need stuff that sounds a little more polished right now. No offense.
I have such a crush on Wayne Coyne. Sigh. I know that has nothing to do with the music, but dang, he's a cutie.
 Felix_The_Cat wrote:
Some way, this song's start seems to me very reminiscent of the Pink Floyd  "The Wall" album
 
"Bring the boys back home"...

Some way, this song's start seems to me very reminiscent of the Pink Floyd  "The Wall" album
Man I love this album!
Just saw the FLips for the 4th time a couple weeks ago.
Such a fun band.

The Soft Bulletin is definitely one of my favourite albums of all time.

 randerse10 wrote:
I think this song was chemically derived . . . 
 
{#Lol}{#Clap}

Fun tune.

As much as I question sounds like posts, I do think that there is an appropriate like quality to Wayne Coyne's atmospheric delivery. Appropriate to Flaming Lips like Jon Anderson's voice was appropriate to Yes.

I think this song was chemically derived . . . 
 a_genuine_find wrote:
Light, or visible light, is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength that is visible to the human eye (about 400–700 nm). Light can exhibit properties of both waves and particles. This property is referred to as wave-particle duality
Wiki

 
HMMMMMMM
This almost looks like the cover of the Lips new  album...their version of Floyd's Dark Side

But this post was 2 years old......spooky coincidence?I think not....wave-particle duality.


One of my favourite albums (and the best the Lips have released)

Very nice song choice.

It would be far more interesting were the singer to use more than the same three notes in the same sequence. Just for variety, you understand. Otherwise this is just plain dull {#Sleep}
This album roolz!  It's like the old days when the whole thing fits together so that it really should be listened to straight through.  Wayne Coyne is the weirdo perpetrator of this particular madness.  Relax and enjoy..  {#Roflol}

Yes, I do think it might be chemically derived   {#Eek}
 squidish wrote:
Um, I think that is the whole point of their sound? Beautiful music with fragile vocals. Or would you rather hear some polished vocals like...like... Mariah Careeeeeeeeeeeey??
 
Well said. His voice fits the sound, I wouldn't want it any other way.

 goodpunk wrote:
 ...the Lips lead singer (Wayne something?) has a beautiful voice...
 
This is sarcasm, right? Tell me I'm right! {#Pray}
 Alear wrote:
Ziggytrix, It's serious when Bill plays it, and I hear it. Personally, I'll dump this in the same bin I put Radiohead.

 

I think you're taking things too seriously.

 araujokrl wrote:

And 100% agreement there
 
Not sure who I am agreeing with, or disagreeing with at this point, but the Lips lead singer (Wayne something?) has a beautiful voice, and best of all, he puts it to good use.  I wonder what the original person who slammed him has done with their talents lately?

Love, love LOVE the Lips.  If you ever get to see them in concert, do it.  Totally memorable experience.  Thanks, Bill, for the song!

Light, or visible light, is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength that is visible to the human eye (about 400–700 nm). Light can exhibit properties of both waves and particles. This property is referred to as wave-particle duality Wiki
The Flaming Lips rise above the term "band" and obtain the title "Godlike"
We like the Flaming Lips here in San Carlos. In fact, we even like that wacko Dell TV commercial with the Lips tune in the bground.
meloman wrote:
These guys make interesting music, but the singing is so lousy that it detracts from the final result for me.
I disagree. Consider the voices of Dylan or Young. Great music, crappy voices. But it works.
ndad47 wrote:
good music to float in space by.
You're thinking of Spiritualized. Now THAT'S music to float in space by.
robco1 wrote:
...and 0% agreement here.
And 100% agreement there
good music to float in space by.
meloman> These guys make interesting music, but the singing is so lousy that it detracts from the final result for me.
pinto wrote:
100% agreement here...
...and 0% agreement here.
Echoes of John Lennon on his shattering, primal John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band album.
window wrote:
A fantastic song that is even better in the context of the amazing album. Haven't heard this on RP before -- thanks for playing it, Bill!
I agree. Out of context I can only rate it a 10.
Um, I think that is the whole point of their sound? Beautiful music with fragile vocals. Or would you rather hear some polished vocals like...like... Mariah Careeeeeeeeeeeey??
meloman wrote:
These guys make interesting music, but the singing is so lousy that it detracts from the final result for me.
100% agreement here...
These guys make interesting music, but the singing is so lousy that it detracts from the final result for me.
Ziggytrix,
i guess that depends on what you mean by "serious"?
It's serious when Bill plays it, and I hear it. Personally, I'll dump this in the same bin I put Radiohead.
When this album came out, I don't think I listened to anything else for about a month. This is one of my Top 10 favorite albums. This song is good, but not quite as good as others on it. Either way, thanks RP for playing something that you'd never hear on commercial radio
...gosh i love the flaming lips - and never would have imagined it fourteenish years back...
Geesh... weak and wimpy.
jeffersonpump wrote:
Remember the episode of Beverly Hills 90210 these guys appeared on? Sersiously, the played the song about tangerines... Now they are considered serious artists, what the hell?
Anything's possible. Twenty years from now, people may be queueing up for a retrospective Britney Spears/K-Fed box set.
river_man wrote:
a great album, but for me this is probably the weakest track. how about 'slow motion','feeling yourself disintegrate' or 'sleeping on the roof'...
No, no, no, this song builds and builds...it's a great track on an album full of great tracks.
jeffersonpump wrote:
Now they are considered serious artists, what the hell?
i guess that depends on what you mean by "serious"?
A fantastic song that is even better in the context of the amazing album. Haven't heard this on RP before -- thanks for playing it, Bill!
Can't wait to get this on the 5.1 mix. (click here)
jeffersonpump wrote:
Remember the episode of Beverly Hills 90210 these guys appeared on? Sersiously, the played the song about tangerines... Now they are considered serious artists, what the hell?
He he, I remember that. Wasn't sure if I wanted to admit it though Many different artists appeared on that show over the years.
Remember the episode of Beverly Hills 90210 these guys appeared on? Sersiously, the played the song about tangerines... Now they are considered serious artists, what the hell?
a great album, but for me this is probably the weakest track. how about 'slow motion','feeling yourself disintegrate' or 'sleeping on the roof'...
These guys have been so damn good for quite a long time.
Listening to this, I now understand how those, who say they cringe when they hear Jon Anderson's (Yes) voice, feel. Stop ya whining kid.
We're gonna party like its your birthday!
nice come-backer after that horrid Iron & Wine crap 8)
YES! love them sooo much! :-)
yay!
One thing that I really love about the Flaming Lips in general and Wayne Cohne's lyrics in particular is the everpresent "sense of wonder" - it feels like Wayne looks at the world in amazement like a child seeing a thing for the first time, and describes the joy and happiness of living. I love it. :)
I saw them in concert with Cake, and Kinky...Awsome show ..They wore their famous rabbit costumes.
redeyespy wrote:
All the praise is well deserved--this is a stellar album, one of the most imaginative I have heard in recent years. This track is sorta Beatlesque, no?
I do agree. Reminds me of "It's All Too Much" from "Yellow Submarine."
It's you, cause that's not what I hear. s fuzzydave wrote:
Is it me, or does this sound a whole lot like the Cure??
MaxEmerika wrote:
I started paying attention to the Flaming Lips when Beck asked them to be his backup band on his Sea Change tour. The more I hear from them, the more I like them.
Have you seen the Austin City Limits Beck/Flaming Lips show they did? Excellent. Still having trouble getting used to Wayne's voice, but the Lips are cool.
I started paying attention to the Flaming Lips when Beck asked them to be his backup band on his Sea Change tour. The more I hear from them, the more I like them.
All the praise is well deserved--this is a stellar album, one of the most imaginative I have heard in recent years. This track is sorta Beatlesque, no?
Dreamy!
Excellent!
Wow! I was just considering putting in a request for this one, and here it is! Wonderful song from one of the best albums of all time.
Is it me, or does this sound a whole lot like the Cure??