The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (Bella Union)

August 23, 2012 by  

So The Flaming lips are back, freed from the shackles of Warner and in the loving embrace of Bella Union. Heady Fwends is a collection of collaborations made over the last few years and released in very limited quantities and very unorthodox ways – I really mean this – leading to the only logical conclusion, a $2500 charity vinyl that contained the band’s and collaborators’ blood. Sadly I only got sent a digital copy but one can wish.

The Collaborators themselves are some of the crème of the musical crop; Nick Cave, Tame Impala, Yoko Ono, Bon Iver, Neon Indian and, errrr, Ke$ha. The album itself is an enjoyable 70-minute, futuristic, post-apocalyptic rock opera. I do have a but though. When a band have been going for nearly 30 years, have written the most uplifting song ever (reaching their peak a bit in my opinion) and have nailed an amazing, unique, B-movie meets Victorian circus, live show (a show I imagine works as well on a main stage headline festival slot as it would your front room) I find the idea of a new album pretty pointless.

When I think of the Flaming Lips (and I think this goes for most people) I think of Wayne floating on crowds in giant hamster ball, shooting lasers out his hands and reminding thousands of people that they will eventually die. Although I enjoyed it (the Bon Iver collab is a bit crap; can’t really take them seriously after they worked with Kanye) I couldn’t help but ask myself will the Flaming Lips Excite me as much as they used to? Will they surprise me and make happy tears pour into my drink? Does this really work sat in my room?

By all means buy it, even the standard vinyl is very tasty and you’ll know the songs the next time you see them play but in all honesty I’m much more into the gummy foetuses and big hairy mascots then listening to what they cook up in a studio with Chris Martin. The music has become secondary but maybe it’s a good thing – at least it’s not all for the money.


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