Album Review: The Flaming Lips - The Flaming Lips And Heavy Fwends

31 July 2012 | 4:56 pm | Lynn McDonnell

An addictive, hypnotising 77 minutes of exploration and surprises...

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The Flaming Lips factory line that produces bucket loads of songs, EPs and albums in a manner similar to that of the musical sweatshop of the Brian Jonestown Massacre was in full operation in 2011. Wayne Coyne and crew actively tried to produce oodles of music last year, attempting to release heaps of songs every month in a variety of different mediums. One of the products of that decision is this collaborative album that showcases an eclectic mix of some of modern music's best musicians and icons.

The unlikely presence of Ke$ha on the opening track 2012 (You Must Be Upgraded) provides a surprising pop element to the long list of genres represented on the collection. The track is a dichotomy of chaos and brilliance, and Lips fans may find themselves not only liking the track but also unapologetically returning for more. The song marks the starting point of an astoundingly fluid album that utilises the skills and talents of all involved, transcending the restrictions of collaboration and creating a sense of cohesion.

Whereby some tracks act as gluing agents that hold the recording together, the many musical pillars include Helping The Retarded To Know God, a stunning appearance from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and a monumental Erykah Badu version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face that wouldn't be out of place in a Stanley Kubrick project.

The album is an addictive, hypnotising 77 minutes of exploration and surprises that would be best played on a record player in the company of a stiff drink and isolation.

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