Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002) is the tenth studio album by The Flaming Lips. It was the follow-up to the widely acclaimed The Soft Bulletin, and went on to have even greater success than its precedessor.
Whilst not officially a Concept Album (the album title and artwork might beg to differ), many of the songs on Yoshimi are united by a core range of subjects, including fighting for the things you believe in (as well as the reluctance to fight), the Power of Love triumphing over evil, and learning to embrace a world where death is inevitable.
The album spawned the hit single "Do You Realize??", which was selected as the Official State Rock Song for Oklahoma - the band's homestate - in 2009, and has become something of a signature anthem for the group. In 2012 the album was adapted into a Broadway musical, co-written by frontman Wayne Coyne and directed by Des Mcanuff.
- "Fight Test"
- "One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21"
- "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1"
- "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2"
- "In the Morning of the Magicians"
- "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell"
- "Are You a Hypnotist??"
- "It's Summertime (Throbbing Orange Pallbearers)"
- "Do You Realize??"
- "All We Have Is Now"
- "Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planita)"
Ego Troping at the Gates of Hell:
- Action Girl: The titular Yoshimi, who's a blackbelt in karate.
- Big Bad: The titular pink robots, who are programmed to destroy us.
- Call-Back: The test transmissions heard at the beginning and end of "Fight Test" are sampled from the band's Parking Lot Experiments.
- Careful with That Axe: "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2", with shrieks provided by Boredoms drummer and OOIOO founder Yoshimi P-We.
- Extreme Doormat: The protagonist of "Fight Test", who comes to acknowledge that his refusal to stand up for himself has negative consequences when it comes to relationships.
- From a Certain Point of View: "...the sun doesn't go down, it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning 'round."
- Future Me Scares Me: "All We Have Is Now" is about a man meeting a future version of himself, who has some not-so-great news: "You and me were never meant to be part of the future."
- Grief Song: "It's Summertime" is dedicated to a friend of the band from Japan who had passed away from cancer. Wayne Coyne wrote the song as a way of consoling her grieving family.
- Killer Robot: The titular robots. "They're programmed to destroy us".
- Instrumentals: "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2" and "Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon". The coda to "One More Robot", entitled "Sympathy 3000-21", could also qualify as one.
- New Sound Album: This album sees the band move into an electronica-based direction, with hip hop beats and acoustic guitars often taking centre stage.
- Phlebotinum Pills: "She's gotta be strong to fight them. So she's taken lots of vitamins". Yep, vitamins somehow give her the power.
- Questioning Title?: "Are You a Hypnotist??" and "Do You Realize??" both have question marks in the titles.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: "One More Robot" deals with a AI that begins to develop emotions.
- Shout Out:
- Pavonis Mons is a large volcano located on the planet Mars.
- "In the Morning of the Magicians" is seemingly named after The Morning of the Magicians, a book on the occult by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier. However, the song otherwise has absolutely nothing to do with the book.
- Siamese Twin Songs:
- The two parts of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots". The first half is a cheery pop ditty that takes Yoshimi's side, whilst the second half is a noisy instrumental that represents the fight itself. Whoever wins - Yoshimi or the robots - is left up to debate.
- The applauding of humans at the end of the second part seems to imply that Yoshimi wins.
- "The test is over...NOW!!!!"