Tracks of the Decade: “Fight Test” by Flaming Lips


“Fight Test”
by Flaming Lips
from YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS (2002)
How ironic that such a funny little song could bear so much weight. We’re all a little lost out here, aren’t we? Coyne and co. seem to get this, searching for the alpha and omega but finding it all shrouded in mystery. While they may have lifted the melody from Cat Stevens, you can’t really blame them because the sugary tune only makes the hard truths go down a little easier. The lyrics are concerned with when to fight – when to “stand up and be a man.” There’s a transformation taking place here in the heart of the lyricist, and I can’t help but think that he’s been inspired to recover his inner-protagonist after witnessing the horror of that one Tuesday morning a year before. “There are things you can’t avoid/You have to face them when you’re not prepared to face them.” Sounds more like the sage advice of Atticus Finch than the guy who sang “She Don’t Use Jelly.” Ultimately all about the continuous exam that is life, “Fight Test” is a lyrical manfifesto for our age, a tune so backwards and brilliant that it could only come from Flaming Lips.

flips_fight“Fight Test”
by Flaming Lips
from YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS (2002)

How ironic that such a funny little song could bear so much weight. We’re all a little lost out here, aren’t we? Coyne and co. seem to get this, searching for the alpha and omega but finding it all shrouded in mystery. While they may have lifted the melody from Cat Stevens, you can’t really blame them because the sugary tune only makes the hard truths go down a little easier. The lyrics are concerned with when to fight – when to “stand up and be a man.” There’s a transformation taking place here in the heart of the lyricist, and I can’t help but think that he’s been inspired to recover his inner-protagonist after witnessing the horror of that one Tuesday morning a year before. “There are things you can’t avoid/You have to face them when you’re not prepared to face them.” Sounds more like the sage advice of Atticus Finch than the guy who sang “She Don’t Use Jelly.” Ultimately all about the continuous exam that is life, “Fight Test” is a lyrical manfifesto for our age, a tune so backwards and brilliant that it could only come from Flaming Lips.

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