A summer day in 2004 was the day that I got my driver's license and could officially drive on my own. My dad gave me the keys to his 1998 Ford Explorer (color: alpine frost) and told me to go for a cruise. I would later total that car, but in that afternoon, I drove the car around the neighborhood for thirty minutes or so, in a car by myself for the first time in my life.
Before I took that drive, a simple drive to remember, I grabbed a CD from my room, one to soundtrack that first trip. The disc I grabbed was the 1995 album Clouds Taste Metallic by The Flaming Lips. It was their first album following the success of their 1993 album, Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, which featured the famous single "She Don't Use Jelly". It was these two albums (Transmissions and Clouds) that featured guitarist/vocalist Ronald Jones, who left the band in 1996. Clouds Taste Metallic acts almost as an exit from their garage rock days and a prelude into the 'Golden Age' of my love for them. Back when they crafted and released The Soft Bulletin (1999), Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002), and At War With the Mystics (2006).
In the time between these eras, from 1995 and 1999, the band ran wild with their Parking Lot Experiments as well as the experimental four-disc album Zaireeka. All of this experimentation and originality can be seen as foreshadowing on Clouds Taste Metallic, an abstract and yet still accessible project. With songs like “Brainville” and “Lightning Strikes the Postman”, as well as the most pop-friendly single “This Here Giraffe”, it makes it one of the more enjoyable FLips album in their lengthy discography; a discography that grew in number just recently with their LP, Oczy Mlody, the band's fourteenth album.
Take in the winter days with a revision of Clouds Taste Metallic, a thirteen song album which received its 20th anniversary back in 2015. As a means of celebrations, The Flaming Lips released Heady Nuggs: 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic, consisting of three CDs which features B-sides, covers, live tracks, and more. For the real fans. Who knows what they'll do in two years when The Soft Bulletin turns 20.