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CD Review: The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (Warner Bros.)

The Flaming Lips promised at least one new song a month in 2011. To help lighten the load, they enlisted a diverse cast of collaborators. The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, which gathers the results and was originally released as a Record Store Day exclusive, slaps the guests' singular imprints on top of the Lips' usual orchestral acid-space jams. So Neon Indian add a dreamy analog sputter, Prefuse 93 offer blissed-out Eastern glitch drone, and My Morning Jacket's Jim James goes for noisy, billowing southern soul. The kumbaya moments with Tame Impala and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes are less rewarding. On the LP's most extraordinary track, Nick Cave grabs the baton with Vegas-crooner/circus-barker vigor and negotiates a wobbly sidecar loaded with baroque flair. Perfectly strange and wonderfully Lips. — Chris Parker

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