And Heady Fwends (CD)


The Flaming Lips

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Amoeba Review

Billy Gil, Hollywood 12/17/2012

The hubbub surrounding The Flaming Lips’ album of collaborations with artists as varied as Neon Indian and Ke$ha threatens to overshadow how good the thing actually came out. They released it on Record Store Day, with a limited edition coming with drops of the artists’ blood in the record — ew! But coming off one of the best albums of their long career, 2009’s Embryonic, The Flaming Lips employ a similar kitchen-sink approach to this album, in which taste and editing go out the door in favor of adventurousness. Not all of it works, and some of the artists sound like they were just called in for name value to sing in the background, like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros on the beautiful if dubiously named “Helping the Retarded to Know God.” When it does, Heady Fwends achieves a bizarre magic matched by little else released this year. Controversy aside, their cover of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” with Erykah Badu is absolutely transcendent.


04/21/2012

The Flaming Lips aren’t a band to do anything half-assed. This is a band that once produced a four-disc album meant to be played simultaneously on four stereo systems. So it’s no surprise that their Record Store Day release (now made available everywhere) hits hard. Though it’s a sprawling release of collaborations with artists as disparate as Ke$ha and Lightning Bolt, The Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends sounds like a logical step in their evolution, following the similar (and similarly rewarding) dream-logic assemblage of their previous album, Embryonic. Each track brings something new or something exciting out of both parties, whether it’s the thrill of hearing pop artists like Coldplay’s Chris Martin weird out on a reverb-ed out Beatles homage of sorts, or Yoko Ono return to her most aggressively primitive. Their collaboration with Erykah Badu produces what you call a perfect cover. The 10-minute faded out grandeur of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” brings something new to the song and perfectly fits the nostalgic melodrama of the original. It’s like a beautiful nightmare. For their part, the Flaming Lips’ songwriting and performance is at its peak, particularly on the touching if dubiously titled “Helping the Retarded to Find God,” featuring a possibly embarrassed but along for the ride Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes.



Track Listing



Side 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)
The Flaming Lips , Ke$ha , Biz Markie 04:11
2.
Ashes in the Air
The Flaming Lips , Bon Iver 06:13
3.
Helping the Retarded to Know God
The Flaming Lips , Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros 07:03
4.
Supermom Made Me Want to Pee
The Flaming Lips , Prefuse 73 03:17
5.
Children of the Moon
The Flaming Lips , Tame Impala 05:32
6.
That Ain't My Trip
The Flaming Lips , Jim James 03:47
7.
You, Man? Human???
The Flaming Lips , Nick Cave 03:34
8.
I'm Working at NASA on Acid
The Flaming Lips , Lightning Bolt 07:59
9.
Do It!
The Flaming Lips , Yoko Ono 03:28
10.
Is David Bowie Dying
The Flaming Lips , Neon Indian 06:38
11.
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
The Flaming Lips , Erykah Badu 10:05
12.
Girl, You're So Weird
The Flaming Lips , New Fumes 03:23
13.
Tasered and Maced
The Flaming Lips , Aaron Behrens 02:43

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