Album review: The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody (Warner Bros/Bella Union)

The Flaming Lips in Clockwork Orange mode.

The Flaming Lips in Clockwork Orange mode.

NEVER DID I think I would see the day that the show stealing track on a Flaming Lips album would be the one chiefly sung by Miley Cirus, but then Miley long stopped being predictable.

The track is 'We A Family' is an epic, anthemic track, and while not as heartbreaking as 'Do You Realise?', it bursts with love, hope, and a deep poignancy. And despite the sonic distortions layered over much of Miley's vocals, they cannot fully overshadow a fine performance from her. Indeed it provides a strong conclusion to the Lips first 'proper' album since 2013's The Terror.

While the Lips remain as psychedleic as ever - the title track sounds like theme music to a lost sci-fi show from the 1970s - there is a noticeable absence of the larger than life gestures of their noughties heyday (Yoshimi, At War With The Mystics ), for a sound that is quieter, more melodic, with atmospheric textures, pervaded always by a deep melancholy.

After an uncertain period for the band and some odd albums - did the world really need a note by note cover version of Sgt Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band? - this is certainly a return to terra firma. Dare I suggest their collaboration with Miley on her Dead Petz album helped them there?

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