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Music / Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

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"I was waiting on a moment / But the moment never came / All those billion other moments / were just slipping all away..."

"The test begins...
...NOW!!!!"
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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.

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Tracklist

  1. "Fight Test"
  2. "One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21"
  3. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1"
  4. "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2"
  5. "In the Morning of the Magicians"
  6. "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell"
  7. "Are You a Hypnotist??"
  8. "It's Summertime (Throbbing Orange Pallbearers)"
  9. "Do You Realize??"
  10. "All We Have Is Now"
  11. "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.
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  • 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: "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"
  • Questioning Title?: "Are You a Hypnotist??" and "Do You Realize??".
  • 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.
  • We All Die Someday: "Do You Realize??" and "All We Have Is Now".

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