Zaireeka (studio album) by The Flaming Lips

Zaireeka by The Flaming Lips
Year: 1997
Overall rank: 4,970th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
75/100 (from 130 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Award Top albums of 1997 (78th)
Award Top albums of the 1990s (851st)
Award Best albums of all time (4,970th)

The Flaming Lips bestography

Zaireeka is ranked 11th best out of 46 albums by The Flaming Lips on

The best album by The Flaming Lips is Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots which is ranked number 118 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 11,936.

The Flaming Lips album bestography « Higher ranked (4,448th) This album (4,970th) Lower ranked (5,630th) »
Hit To Death In The Future HeadZaireekaTelepathic Surgery

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Zaireeka track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 81 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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Zaireeka ratings

Average Rating: 
75/100 (from 130 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

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04/12/2024 20:51 DommeDamian  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 6,34149/100
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02/04/2024 17:59 asimpkins  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 2,17369/100
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01/18/2024 19:44 btener11  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 3,91480/100
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01/01/2024 22:33 ExTeaSea  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 4,57483/100
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10/06/2023 12:52 ssteve  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 2,36876/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album is rated in the top 8% of all albums on This album has a Bayesian average rating of 75.3/100, a mean average of 75.5/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 75.5/100. The standard deviation for this album is 14.7.

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Zaireeka favourites

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Zaireeka comments

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From 08/19/2022 09:18
Heavy, immersive, inventive and emotional, Zaireeka doesn't seem to get the love it deserves, presumably because people either view it as a gimmick or just can't find a way to play it (CDs/Vinyls are expensive and require 4 devices, not available on Spotify, YouTube laden with ads, etc). I'd say it's up there with Transmissions and Clouds in terms of quality, but still is totally its own thing. Really does feel like an experience.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 08/17/2021 23:05
I've yet to experience this album properly, but the songs are great and the idea behind the album is really cool.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 11/16/2018 23:58
I work for a school and run a club that listens to full records once a week. This is the only album I have done every year, the very last album of the year. So much fun with high schoolers.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +5 votes (5 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 10/24/2018 13:01
One of my favourites from them and just about scrapes into my top 100 greatest albums chart, which is no mean feat ! "Zaireeka" is unashamedly experimental and melodically complex, but actually the songs are quite accessible and quite frankly excellent. It's a brave step into the unknown for the Lips who flirt with the progressive pop that defines some of their later records, but as it is, this is a grand achievement and a slightly forgotten one at that.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 05/02/2018 19:25
I don't even have to listen to this simultaneously through 4 speakers around my room to recognise that this is a staggering record (for your information, there are a few uploads of "Zaireeka" on YouTube where all four CDs are compressed, so check it out if you're unable to listen to it in the intended way).

Also, it's not just filled to the brim with uniformly great compositions, it provides a crucial turning point between their noise rock records in the past decade and their poppier psychedelic records in the future. "Zaireeka" is a brave step forward from "Clouds Taste Metallic" where they experiment with an eclectic range of sounds and frequencies, coalescing together to form extravagant chaos. This isn't just for die-hard fans of The Flaming Lips, it's for music lovers everywhere... and hopefully I'll listen to it at a Zaireeka event at some point in my life, I imagine the experience will be completely different.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 05/28/2016 19:15
Really inventive and brilliant album which, like all of the Lips' work, deserves far, far more praise than it gets
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (3 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 10/10/2014 14:16
If you don't want that many complications to listen to an album, there's a version around that condenses all four CDs into one, so the album can be listened to normally without needing more than one player.

Having listened to that, it may lose some of the wow factor, but the album still sounds great, with its characteristic Flaming Lips sound.

Best tracks: Your Invisible Now, A Machine in India
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 08/28/2014 03:32
Certainly not a 0.0 album like Pitchfork thinks it is!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +6 votes (6 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 03/11/2013 07:37
@junodog4/I did it, and bloody cool, you just don't need to have 4 portable mp3 player. I just did it using 4 other music player software on Computer, anyway nice album.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 06/19/2012 02:33
What a cool concept. Each album works on it own, and there are 14 different combinations of discs to listen together before you try all four. What an ambitious project. Playing all 4 together actually works. Try it. Get 3 other music nerds, grab some portable players, sit in a room and time out the play buttons. It's worth it for the social experiment, and it sounds pretty cool too. This should get greater acclaim than it does on it's status as an artistic project and musical event.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +12 votes (12 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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Best Albums of 1997
1. OK Computer by Radiohead
2. Homogenic by Björk
3. Either/Or by Elliott Smith
4. The Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse
5. Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space by Spiritualized
6. Perfect From Now On by Built To Spill
7. F♯ A♯ ∞ (LP Version) by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
8. Urban Hymns by The Verve
9. The Colour And The Shape by Foo Fighters
10. The Boatman's Call by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
11. I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One by Yo La Tengo
12. The Mollusk by Ween
13. The Fat Of The Land by The Prodigy
14. Blur by Blur
15. Buena Vista Social Club by Buena Vista Social Club
16. Time Out Of Mind by Bob Dylan
17. Homework by Daft Punk
18. Dots And Loops by Stereolab
19. Mogwai Young Team by Mogwai
20. Portishead by Portishead
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