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3.4 out of 5 stars
The Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
The Flaming Lips have never backed away from a good collaboration (2009's The Flaming Lips Doing Dark Side Of The Moon). This new album is 13 songs by the Flaming Lips in conjunction with another music artist. Of course, this is going to lead to some strange pairings: who wouldn't scratch their heads at the prospect of The Flaming Lips + Ke$ha? Or The Flaming Lips + Erykah Badu? Or The Flaming Lips + Yoko One? Ok, maybe that last one makes sense. In some ways, this record is a greatest hits collection: EP's of collaborations with Neon Indian, Yoko Ono, Prefuse 73, and Lightning Bolt have all been released. These interesting experiments varied wildly in quality; here, THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS collects some of these past songs. The resulting album is a mixed bag -- better than it probably should be, but not as good as 2009's EMBRYONIC.

The album begins with the Ke$ha and Biz Markie collaboration "2012 [You Must Be Upgraded]". It's fast, loud, electronic, and immediate. Rather than spacing out on the first song (that comes with the next track), "2012" is mostly pretty grounded. This song raises two questions for me: why is Biz Markie here? He only has one half of a line. Additionally, why use Ke$ha, if you're not going to have her be the stubborn, hamfisted, party-rocker personality that we know her as? Ke$ha is oddly reigned in here on this recording. Gripes aside, it works. "That Ain't My Trip," a reeling, sloppy rocker featuring Jim James from My Morning Jacket feels like it has potential, but falls a bit short by the end; Nick Cave's "You Man? Human???" follows the same vein. "Is David Bowie Dying?" is a submerged, electronic, reverby ballad that would have sounded in line on Mark Linkous/Danger Mouse's DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL. New Fumes' effort "Girl, You're So Weird" sounds like it might be the most accessible on the album -- a calm before the storm -- "Tasered and Maced" is a spoken-word piece that feels like a bizarre way to end the album, even for the Flaming Lips.

THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS is cluttered, spacey, and instinctive; rather than being too cerebral, the creative moves here feel like gut-reactions. Chances are, if you're reading this review, you at least have some idea of what to expect from this. Listeners unfamiliar with The Flaming Lips are suggested to start somewhere else in the band's catalog (THE SOFT BULLETIN or YOSHIMI come to mind). Standout tracks: "2012 [You Must Be Upgraded]", "Is David Bowie Dying?", and "I'm Working At NASA On Acid." This album has plenty of good moments, you just have to be patient enough to let them play out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Suprised at all the bad reviews for this record a lot of people citing the weirdness of it...It's the flaming lips what do you expect! To be honest with you it's not all that different from Embryonic, plenty of good moments on this album.

Stand out tracks here: First Time I ever saw your face, that ain't my trip, helping the retarded know god, Supermoon made me pee, Ashes in the air.

Essentially this isn't really an album proper it's really a compilation of all the collaborative EP's they made last year, their new proper album is due out very soon called The Terror.

I will deduct a star for not including the Chris martin track on the CD version even thought it's mentioned in the booklet - that was just lazy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2012
Format: Audio CD
2012 is a very exciting year for Flaming Lips fans, and music fans in general! Anyone is bound to enjoy any one of the several artists the Lips collaborate with on Heady Fwends. They may not be what you expect from said artists but that's what you get with the Flaming Lips. THE UNEXPECTED. It's great to see some of these artists just let loose and have some strange musical fun with the Lips. You'll have to listen to it a few times to fully appreciate it but it really is a beautifully flowing cohesive album.. And yes, it's loud. It's Dissonant. It's Unusual. It's extremely weirdly experimental. But it's definitely a lot of fun... And that's why we love the Flaming Lips, right??
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
Format: Audio CD
First of all, this CD sounds like a proper Flaming lips album, not just Wayne Coyne fannying about for 60 minutes.
Interestingly, I was expecting a Frank Sinatra type duet record, but what you are presented with is a much more cohesive, flowing piece of music.
Admittedly this album is closer to Embryonic, than Yoshimi or the Soft Bulletin, so if you're a fan of those latter records, you might want to save your pennies.
Another fascinating listen by Master Coyne (even the Yoko Ono collaboration sounds ok), but I do think the time is right for a more commercial record, for the sake of diversity of course.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
I don't know what album the few other reviews on here are referring to, this album is fantastic! Of course there's some experimental noise, but it's the Flaming Lips. There are lots of gems worth listening to here; what's more, here you have an established band still willing to push the envelope. Simply a great album!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Wanted to even out the ratings on this record because 1 star is inaccurate. It is great that this actually exists and I hope the Lips continue to collaborate with other artists...the collabs w Kesha, Bon Iver, Nick Cave, Tame Impala, Jim James and Erika Badu are the highlights. I hope this helps!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2013
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Probably one of my favorite albums. They collaborated with a lot of great artists and created something solid. I'm never disappointed with The Flaming Lips.
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on March 25, 2015
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I was skeptical when the band announced Ke$ha would be involved with this album, but it actually turned out pretty great. Many of the songs aren't as deep or meaningful as songs off some of the band's other albums, and this album overall isn't even in the same league as their masterpieces like The Soft Bulletin. But they are great tunes nonetheless. This album showcases more of The Flaming Lips' crazier, fun psychedelic side--however, it does have some more serious moments on it.

I personally love this album. However, if you aren't already that familiar with The Flaming Lips, you may find it hard to enjoy. I would definitely recommend listening to their albums The Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and Embryonic before giving this a listen.
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on May 17, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Reading the reviews people have said this does not sound like the Flaming Lips or that is way off the mark.
I don't have much to say but it sounds like the Lips to me and I think it is great.
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on August 23, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I really liked the idea of this album. And the Flaming Lips make some smart collaboration choices, like in Embryonic with Karen O and MGMT and the Dark Side of the Moon cover but gosh, this was pretty bad. I feel like one of the main purposes of this album was so they can gain more awareness amongst these bands' fans.
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