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The Flaming Lips 

"Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell" (Warner Bros.)

There's something about the Flaming Lips that helps you understand the origins of Christianity. Seriously. Though they may have a deliriously opaque sound and a hankering for morally serious lyrics about robots and vegetables, they've attracted devotees far outside the realm of people who walk around knowing who played bass for Moby Grape. Take an informal poll of your friends; ask them which record they credit with having saved their lives at some point, and you're likely to hear The Soft Bulletin. Last year's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots has many adherents as well, though it's not as universally loved. It was the Lips' New Testament.

And now, they've emerged with their Book of Revelations, "Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell." True believers will go whole hog for its techno-fied remixes of two of the best tracks from Yoshimi -- "Ego Tripping" and "Do You Realize?" -- and apeshit for the fresh dream-pop gospel handed down in new tracks "Assassination of the Sun" and "A Change in Christmas." Pickier devotees will object that, even though the project certainly has its beautiful moments, it's merely an interesting sidebar to that ol' time religion.

More by Maya Singer

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