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The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends

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iTunes Review

The Flaming Lips specialize in exploring the unknown: in trying anything and everything and doing so in the most unusual, unexpected ways. The music here has been culled from a number of hard-to-find releases, and this album was originally issued on vinyl. With titles like "Is David Bowie Dying," "I'm Working at NASA on Acid," "Supermoon Made Me Want to Pee," and "Girl, You're So Weird," it's readily apparent that this shows the Lips at their most extreme. Collaborations with a wide range of guests—from Ke$ha and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band to Bon Iver—further ensure that Wayne Coyne's eclectic spirit roams freely. "Supermoon," featuring Prefuse 73, is a head rush, a barreling-down-the-galaxy whoosh that mellows into a sweet orchestral field that would complement David Lynch's Lost Highway as well as Trent Reznor's score. Nick Cave adds his preacher-of-doom vocal style to "You, Man? Human???," while Erykah Badu tackles the much-covered Ewan MacColl classic "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" with the band turning it into 10 minutes of hypnotic space travel. 

Customer Reviews

The Lips Pop Subversion

In 2011 the Flaming Lips found themselves without a Warner Bros record contract for the first time since the '90s. Freed (and challenged) by the sudden lack of record company pressures and expectations, they embarked on a heavily experimental journey, recording and independently releasing outrageous product like six- and twenty-four-hour long songs, the "Zaireeka for 12 iPhones" piece, "Two Blobs F**king", and a series of completely unpredictable collaborations with the likes of Ke$ha, Yoko Ono, Chris Martin of Coldplay, and Erykah Badu.

Now that the Lips are re-signed to Warner Bros, their initial release is a compilation of the best collaboration tracks recorded in 2011. Stylistically it's a progression from their darkly abstract 2009 masterpiece, "Embryonic", but by it's very nature lacks that album's cohesion and focus. Still, the best tracks here compare favorably with anything they've done in their career - "Helping the Retarded to Know God" with Bon Iver and the Roberta Flack cover with Erykah Badu "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" are breathtaking in their icy and sweeping beauty. "I'm Working At NASA on Acid" (with indie noise mongers Lightning Bolt) and "Is David Bowie Dying" (with Neon Indian) almost serve as proxies for an imaginary Lips/David Bowie collaboration, and prove that that collaboration would be mind-bending to say the least. And the "2012" updating of Iggy and the Stooges classic "1969" featuring Ke$ha on lead vocals is the most party-friendly and hard rocking Lips track since "At War with the Mystics".

Not all the other tracks are as successful, though they're never less than interesting. Think of this as a sampler of what was a very interesting year for the Flaming Lips and an example of what they can do with all artistic and commercial restrictions removed. They are now at work at their next "proper" Warners album and if this weird little artifact is any indication they will continue to push the barriers of what a modern rock band can be.

For you Fwends

Finally i can listen to it all the way through & not have to flip to the next side! Not as focused as their other non-collaborative records, but I dont think that was the point of this release. AND if yer looking for something more down to earth, i think the new Maroon 5 album is for you. Anyway, this album is beautiful and i believe these artists were lucky to get to record with such genuine guys as the Lips.


I just love Ke$ha!!!!


Formed: 1983 in Oklahoma City, OK

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Even within the eclectic world of alternative rock, few bands were so brave, so frequently brilliant, and so deliciously weird as the Flaming Lips. From their beginnings as Oklahoma weirdos to their mid-'90s pop culture breakthrough to their status as one of the most respected groups of the 21st century, the Lips rode one of the more surreal and haphazard career trajectories in pop music. An acid-bubblegum band with as much affinity for sweet melodies as blistering noise assaults, their off-kilter...
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