Review: ‘The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’

Review: ‘The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’: Aidin Vaziri | Originally intended as a Record Store Day double-vinyl exclusive, the Flaming Lips’ all-star collaborative effort now gets a proper release. Funny how that worked out (and sorry if you spent a fortune tracking down a copy on eBay). The album, which features appearances by a head-scratching cast that includes Yoko Ono, Erykah Badu and Nick Cave is typically frazzled, assaulting the senses from the second it starts up with “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded),” a song that features pop songstress Ke$ha and the rapper Biz Markie and sounds exactly as weird and cartoonish as its title implies. There’s a lot of dismissible weirdness here, but Bon Iver brings a good measure of soul to the fractalized psychedelic rock of “Ashes in the Air,” while the Lips’ take on “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” with Badu unfurls like a wonderful acid daydream. Curiously, the Oklahoma group’s collaboration with Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin has gone missing from the repackaged version – not that anyone who gets sucked into the cacophonous grooves would actually notice.

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