CD review: The Flaming Lips 'The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends'

CD review: The Flaming Lips ‘The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends'
Published: April 20, 2012

Yoko Ono brings sexual urgency to the primal beats and spacey twang of “Do It,” which is exactly what she chants repeatedly throughout, throwing in a couple of strangled cries along the way.

Her stylings are still an acquired taste, but so are several of the tracks from “Fwends,” particularly the cacophonous buzz and drone of “That Ain't My Trip” with My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and the willfully grating sonic muddle and monotony that makes up the better part of “I'm Working at NASA on Acid,” featuring stormy experimentalists Lightning Bolt.

But the brighter moments make this brave new album worth owning, especially the moving, piano-accompanied ballad meditation on life and death, “I Don't Want You to Die,” with Coldplay's Chris Martin, and their devastatingly gorgeous, ethereal cover of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” featuring the mesmerizingly languorous and soulful voice of R&B songstress Erykah Badu.

The 13 songs are pressed on two high-quality, multicolored vinyl platters packaged in custom art jackets and bagged together (and yes, you need a turntable).

No two discs will look exactly alike.

It's a must-have for Wayne worshippers.

But if you miss out on this limited Record Store Day treasure, don't despair, kids. The Lips are working on an album of new music as you read this, due for regular wide release just months from now.

— Gene Triplett

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