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The Flaming Lips

July 10, 2012

Over the years, my opinion of The Flaming Lips has oscillated wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other.  My introduction to their music, like most folks my age, was in the mid-90’s when they had a surprise hit, “She Don’t Use Jelly”.  I hated it.  I hated the song, the sound, the band, their popularity, everything.

Much to my surprise, the album they released just a few years later, The Soft Bulletin, was incredible.  Well-written songs set to lush instrumentation with just enough lofi weirdness to keep it unpredictable.  I could hardly believe that this was the same band.

Even more surprising, afterThe Soft Bulletin they started to get a little too normal.  Their recordings were cleaner, the production was slicker; they started to sound like modern pop, and I tuned them out.

After all the surprises over the years, I should’ve known better than to take their work for granted, but I was totally taken aback when I first heard their latest release The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends.  It’s a full on psychedelic freakout featuring a laundry list of guest artists from all over the map: Ke$ha, Biz Markie, Bon Iver, Prefuse 73, Lightning Bolt, Tame Impala, Nick Cave, Erykah Badu, and on and on.


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