Rolling Stone - 12/11/97, p.784 Stars (out of 5)
- "...ZAIREEKA's wall-of-surround-sound approach melds droning-rock dissonance with warped, off-kilter pop melodies, producing a totally immersing, post-PET SOUNDS seance..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/14/97, p.93
"...the Oklahoma quartet has placed the various components of ZAIREEKA's eight songs onto four CDs, ideally to be played simultaneously on four separate stereos....Whether human anatomy is equipped to handle octophonic sound is anyone's guess." - Rating: A
Q - 12/02, p.1023 stars out of 5
- "...The effect is both thrilling and unsettling..."
Magnet - 1-2/98, p.69
"...dense, catchy walls of sound that just happen to be emanating from eight speakers..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 3/01/04, p.56
Included in Mojo's The 67 Lost Albums You Must Own! - "An intended fusion of 'anarchy and inspiration,' musically this was the Lips at their mind-melding zonk rock pinnacle..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/02, p.60
"...Expensive, odd, but impressive if you get it to work."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.52Ranked #11
in Mojo's "The 50 Most Out There Albums Of All Time" - "ZAIREEKA is one of the Lips' finest records. In its original format, it's nothing short of a psychedelic masterpiece..."
NME (Magazine) - 1/3/98, p.3210 (out of 10)
- "...even by the Flaming Lips' synapse-searing standards, ZAIREEKA is a tatanic, bedazzled trip to the furthest reaches of the imagination....the Flaming Lips have released arguably their most beautiful music....To reiterate: a work of genius."
ZAIREEKA is a 4-CD limited edition release. Each CD contains the same 8 compositions intended for simultaneous playback on up to 4 CD players.
The Flaming Lips: Wayne Coyne, Michael Ivins, Steven Drozd.
Producers: Scott Booker, Dave Fridmann, Flaming Lips.
Includes liner notes by Wayne Coyne.
Personnel: Michael Ivins, Steven Drozd, Wayne Coyne (vocals).
Audio Mixers: Dave Fridmann; The Flaming Lips.
Recording information: Cassadaga, NY (04/1997-08/1997).
It would be an understatement to say that ZAIREEKA, the four-disc, experimental opus from Oklahoma City's resident post-punk geniuses the Flaming Lips, is not your run-of-the-mill release. Each disc has a partial mix of the same eight songs, so the only way to hear the album as intended is by using four different cd-players at once. Yet, as Lips mastermind Wayne Coyne hints at in the liner notes, that makes ZAIREEKA an inherently social event--invite some friends, tell 'em to bring extra boomboxes.
As for ZAIREEKA's music, it is an ambitious extension of the kind of psyche-noise-pop that the Flaming Lips have mastered since their mid-80s inception. Gloriously catchy moments--like the chugging rhythm of the opening "Okay I'll Admit It That I Really Don't Understand" or the serene ambient-pop air of "Thirty Five Thousand Feet Of Despair"--float out constantly, only to be eaten up within waves of sound. As pop music goes, ZAIREEKA's about as experimental a trip as you can lay on the average listener before they run for cover, but those who remain will find their stay extremely worthwhile.