The Flaming Lips – With a Little Help From My Fwends
Here's one you genuinely couldn’t make up: The Flaming Lips bash out their own bonkers take on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with a little help from a starry, decidedly eclectic supporting cast that includes Moby, J Mascis, Tegan and Sara, Maynard James Keenan and Miley Cyrus. With all proceeds going to The Bella Foundation (a non-profit organisation in the band’s hometown of Oklahoma City that assists low-income, elderly, or terminally ill pet owners with the cost of veterinary care), the motivation is unquestionable.
If only the same could be said for the music. At times, the rampant sonic buffoonery makes the original sound positively humdrum. A tender reading of She's Leaving Home, featuring Julianna Barwick and Phantogram, is as restrained as it gets. Replay value? Minimal, sad to say. Big of heart but, ultimately, low on art, these fwends deserve support, nevertheless. But hey, fuck it, because caring is cool, take an extra star. [Gary Kaill]