The beginning of The Flaming Lips latest album is perhaps one of the most annoying moments of the year. It's a rather childish yet catchy tune which is obviously geared for the popular music charts but - rather like REM's 'Shiny Happy People' - it's a song which has little long-term value for the band's career. On this rather uneven album, there's an abundance of ideas but the cohesion of the last two albums is strangely absent. 'The Sound Of Failure' is a heartfelt, dizzily romantic number and on 'My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion' they rediscover their gift for epic, experimental pop music. Yet several songs are extended by instrumental interludes which don't have much to do with what's been heard before and the bowel shaking rhythm of 'It Overtakes Me' seems as out of place as its current role of promoting German beer for a TV commercial. Nevertheless, they prove they have soul and heart to spare on 'Mr. Ambulance Driver' and the comparatively straight-laced 'Goin' On'. As a whole it's a record which tries hard to out-do their past achievements in experimentation but in doing so, there are moments when you just wish they'd stick to what they do best - making original but life-affirming pop music.