The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends
In days gone by, describing a Flaming Lips album as “bewildering” could easily have passed as an endorsement, such was the dazzling nature of their pre-2010s output. Since then, however, their star has fallen – coincidentally just as frontman Wayne Coyne’s head seems to have taken permanent flight for the clouds.
...And Heady Fwends was supposed to be a limited edition release for Record Store Day and, as such, has the air of an album that isn’t supposed to be heard by more than a few. There's nothing on here that bears listening to more than once – and little that deserves to make it even that far. Turns from perennial guest vocalists Bon Iver, Nick Cave and Jim James are forgettable – lost amid the cacophonic, aluminium maelstrom of the Lips’ self-indulgent space-rock. So yes: it's a bewildering ride, but only because it makes you wonder where the hell it all went wrong.