The Flaming Lips: Dark Side of the Moon

RIYL: Les Claypool’s cover album of Animals, charity compilations, not Pink Floyd

The decision for the Flaming Lips to cover, in its entirety, Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon has certainly been met with a lot of hostility by people who consider the original to be a sacred artifact of a bygone era that should be treated with an almost religious reverence. Those people have decided to hate this album without ever hearing it, and that’s a shame, because if they did take the time to listen to it, they would have plenty of reasons to hate it on its own merits.

Okay, that’s a little harsh; this bizarre little experiment isn’t horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s certainly not good, and is, as the purists love pointing out, entirely unnecessary. Most of the time the Lips (and on occasion Stardeath And the White Dwarf, who are credited as the sole performers on two tracks and as a back-up band on four others) just don’t seem to be trying. Their big creative decision seems to be on “Money,” when they sing through vocoders. The rest of the the time they just aren’t doing enough to make it really stand out from the original. “Time” gets some looping cough effects for some reason, and “On the Run” is transformed into a bass-heavy acid Jazz jam. The rest is pretty much just Dark Side with added wacky effects and cranked-up bass. It’s not weird or exciting – it’s just boring, not to mention lazy and predictable. Is anyone surprised by the fact that the Flaming Lips happen to be huge Floyd fans? I mean…duh. If the Flaming Lips really want to create a WTF moment, they should leave classics like Dark Side alone and take on something truly unexpected, maybe REO Speedwagon’s High Infidelity or Genesis’ Invisible Touch. Wayne Coyne singing “Land of Confusion,” now that would be a track worth hearing. (Warner Bros. 2010)

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