Album Review: The Flaming Lips & Plastic Ono Band

It’s a Christmas miracle! When the holiday season had begun, the Flaming Lips established a new website dedicated entirely to streaming Lips related Christmas tunes 24 hours a day, from their spacious and haunting version of “Silent Night” to the remotely unheard-of Imagene Peise projects of 2007. It was a pleasant surprise to all Flaming Lips fans when Wayne announced via Twitter that Yoko Ono would be joining them in the studio to rerecord vocals for the Imagene Peise tune “Atlas Eets Christmas.” But the real icing on the cake was another edition to the Flaming Lips 2011 collaboration EP collection, namely, one with the Plastic Ono Band.

The Flaming Lips & Plastic Ono Band 12″ EP is available in extremely limited quantities (so far, they only sold it at the Flaming Lips/Plastic Ono Band New Years show), but all four songs are on Youtube through a channel run by the Flaming Lips’ fan forum Slow Nerve Action.

Opener “The Fear Litany” is a dark, swirling odyssey featuring Wayne and Yoko side by side on vocals that would have been right at home on the Lips 2009 release Embryonic. “Do It” is much more about Ono. While the song hosts the sound and atmosphere of a Lips tune, the song holds the structure and nature of Ono’s most memorable work. “Brain of Heaven” is once more a very collaborative work with a gorgeous melody topped with spastic noise and filtering. “Atlas Eets Christmas” finishes up the EP with all the love and Christmas cheer we would expect from Ono and the Lips together.

This EP is easily one of the best in the series so far. The Flaming Lips and Plastic Ono Band are kindred spirits stuck in a plain world that needs more imagination and magic. Thankfully, we can expect these two to keep the magic alive for a long time coming.

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