Review: The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs – The Darkside Of The Moon

Artist: The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs
Album: The Dark Side of The Moon
Genre: Cover/Classic Rock
Label: Warner Bros.

Just to be clear, the official title of the interesting and peculiar release is, The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Peaches and Henry Rollins doing The Dark Side of The Moon, but for our purposes, Dark Side of The Moon will [hopefully] suffice. Now, I think any fan of, well, indie, punk, and/or dance music probably reacted like me when they saw this release and squealed like a little girl [on the inside or out I won’t judge if you don’t], but really, any fan of music should appreciate this record. Born out of a desire to pay tribute to one of the biggest, most influential, experimental, and greatest records of all time, some of the greatest [and most experimental] artists of our time have banded together. Lead by the always grandiose Flaming Lips, the list of talent includes Stardeath and The White Dwarfs, Henry Rollins, and Peaches. Seriously, need we say more? Alright, this release was the top selling exclusive for Record Store 2010 and is now available online and, if not already, soon in physical [CD] format.

When it comes to covers and myself, I only ask two things: Make it good and make it your own. I’m one hundred percent behind paying homage, but that does not mean impersonating and that’s where many [*cough* Punk Goes Classic Rock*cough*] covers go wrong. However, with The Flaming Lips, if anything is guaranteed at all its that it won’t be like anything you’ve heard before and to say it makes an album like Dark Side of The Moon sound stranger is an absolute feat in itself.

For me, it seems odd to give you the run around of what each track sounds like. For those that know the original masterpiece, you’ll recognize these songs, but many elements may seem foreign. While the cacophony of at times almost senseless audio fills are still there, along with the melodies, and required elements, this isn’t the boundary pushing days of rock and roll Pink Floyd lived in, this is the boundless universe The Flaming Lips have created and that makes a world of different. For those of you unfamiliar with the album, this even out of this world take on this music changing album should be far out enough to lure even those uninterested in the source material.

I do want to note that not all praise is due to The Flaming Lips however, the myriad of artists they surround themselves with do an equally stunning job of reinventing without remaking. Specifically, Peaches almost pitch perfectly recreates Clare Torry’s non-lexical section on “The Great Gig in The Sky.” Its one of those moments that shows the world how talented Peaches truly is, even without the shock and awe used to promote the music. Outside of that, Stardeath and the White Dwarfs do a stunning job of tripping out the already disorienting sound of the Flamings Lips while Henry Rollins takes over the commentary tracks.

Whether you’ve come to the album because you know the artists, loved the original, or simply think the cover is weird, this release will impact you in a way few day. Much like the first time the original had a needle placed on it in basements and bedrooms across the world, Dark Side of The Moon continues to transport us to a musical realm few records could ever attempt to achieve. Its a consuming universe of sound and experimentation that will keep you coming back again for more and more. Best of all? If you really love the original, this separates itself enough to warrant owning [and appreciating] both. While Pink Floyd laid out and constructed a perfect record, The Flaming Lips, along with Stard and The White Dwarfs, Henry Rollins, and Peaches have made an almost equally class-defying record that will standout for many years to come.

Score: 9/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

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