If you read Pitchfork and you're up on all your indie music happenings you've probably already gotten an earful about The Flaming Lips taking on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Well, if you're a busy dad you probably haven't so here's my take.
One, if you kind of like The Flaming Lips and rmember Dark Side from being a teenager or college age kid impressed with the album, this is a must. Unfortunately, it's only an iTunes exclusive so you have to download it via iTunes.
What's so good about it? For one, it feels organic while at the same time intricate and artistic. You can tell on the opening track "Speak to Me/Breathe" that the band is not just doing this on a lark or to make money.
Everything has that slightly eccentric Lips take on it. And if you think about it, if there was a band carrying on the Pink Floyd mantel today, it would have to be The Flaming Lips. They're weird and good at the same time and can make a crap album after a masterpiece.
And by god, put on the headphones and turn this up and there are sounds going from one ear through the other like a modern psychadelic steam train. A Thomas the Tank Engine of bass, drums and fuzzy guitars as it were. Yes, parents don't need to smoke anything to enjoy "On The Run" or "Time/Breath (reprise)." They're just that good.
"Time" has Wayne Coyne sounding delicate and vulnerable unlike most of the Lips albums proper.
The only track that I thought fell short was "Money" perhaps the easiest song ont eh entire album to cover since it has more of a straight forward structure. Well, the Lips mess that up with some electronic garbeling to start and an off-tilt bass line that distorts. It's...interesting but doesn't bring it home, nor do the completely distorted vocals which remind me of the Lips doing Mr. Roboto not Dark Side.
Luckily, when it seems like the band could blow it all they show they really do know what they're doing. When "Any Colour You Like" starts with a funkadelic beginning I figured this was it, all was lost. But even that groove segues into the over the top take on "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse." You really need to listen to the whole album to get to it, kind of like the original. It's just that good. Sure the lunatic in your head is now Henry Rollins who doesn't add much, but The Lips know how to master a musical climax.
It's doubtful Floyd fans will appreciate how good this truly is, but if you're not a die hard and just have some sort of juvenile reverence for it as I do, this recording will be hard to pass up.