The Flaming Lips

This Here Giraffe [UK #2]

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"The World's First Ever Shaped CD" reads a sticker affixed to the jewel box of This Here Giraffe; a six-pointed star with a design of giraffe fur on the label, the only thing tougher than tracking down a copy is actually getting it to operate in your CD player. Although the star's points extend five inches, the diameter of a standard circular disc, it seems many machines can't read it -- a pity, because the live Peel Sessions recordings of Hit to Death in the Future Head highlights "The Sun" and "Hit Me Like You Did the First Time" are both fantastic. The title cut, one of the key moments of Clouds Taste Metallic, is no less wonderful; its zoo-like noises were a major reason the album earned so many comparisons to Pet Sounds. (Well, that and the fact it's a pop masterpiece.)

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