Flaming Lips

Fri, Jul 13, 2012, 01:00

The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, Bella Union **

Incredibly, this Oklahoma band are 30 years into their topsy- turvy career, and still they know how to blindside even their most observant fan. This album, their 14th studio effort (originally released on vinyl for Record Store Day earlier this year), takes the multicoloured, drug-infused biscuit, as the band issue a sequence of collaborations with a range of very unusual suspects. And so you have Erykah Badu doing a 10-minute version of Ewan MacColl’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band weirding us out on Do It!, pop starlet Ke$ha rocking the Stooges on 2012 (You Must be Upgraded), and Bon Iver referencing David Bowie on Ashes in the Air. It’s all quite peculiar, and most of it is look-at-me-I’m-nuts ridiculous, but for sheer exasperating experimentation alone, this one hums like a hoover. flaminglips.com

Download track: 2012 (You Must be Upgraded)