Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Flaming Lips Take On 'Dark Side of the Moon'

Wayne Coyne in concert in January 2004Image via WikipediaBy Philip Hicks

To many diehard Pink Floyd fans, attempting to re-create the aural brilliance of their seminal, genre-defining masterstroke 'Dark Side of the Moon' is akin to utter blasphemy. All naysaying aside, if there were ever a band capable of even attempting the feat, then Oklahoma's favorite weirdo sons the Flaming Lips would certainly take the prize.

Teaming with singer Wayne Coyne's nephew in the form of 'Stardeath and White Dwarves', the Lips' take on Floyd is at once both exploratory as well as true to the source material. From the opening guitar squalls of 'Breathe', it quickly becomes clear that this is a more avant take on 'Dark Side...' - trippy yes, but dippy no. The Lips are as serious as a heart attack on the record, which is a large part of why the concept works so well.

Electro-trash queen Peaches and alternative nation godfather Henry Rollins provide the 'spoken' aspects of the album, and while their inclusion is neat they do make for some strange bedfellows. Rollins in particularly feels a tad forced re-creating the nutso laughs and British gentlemen conversations that pepper the original 'Dark Side...', although short of Tom Waits I can't really think of anyone else that could pull it off 100% convincingly.

Still, it's the strength of the Floyd songs and the Lips' power as creative visionaries that ultimately makes this updated 'Dark Side...' such a worthy head trip. "Us and Them" as well as "Brain Damage" are both perfectly suited to Coyne's high-octave croon, and the rest of the band's orchestration is ideally complimentary. I kept expecting them to spoil the mood with some overly-goofy elements, but thankfully the vibe remains deathly serious until that final fuzz-tastic bars of "Eclipse" drown out to a dull, epic roar. Once again, my hat goes off to the Flaming Lips, as this 'Dark side of the Moon' is truly out of this world.

A freelance writer, journalist, editor and all around info hound, Philip Hicks has been creating content since birth it seems. As an expert in a number of industries and subjects, Philip offers tremendous insight to help readers better understand a variety of topics. Some of Philip's work can be seen on, as well as a variety of other web and non-web locations. With a mind on always staying topical, Philip always strives to entertain, enlighten and engage. Enjoy!

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