Monday, March 14, 2005

Flaming Lips Versus Thievery Corporation

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The new Thievery Corporation album The Cosmic Game was released a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't sure whether I was going to pick it up - I've got all of the other albums, and I was feeling like maybe they were a little played out. Then I read something about some of their new collaborators and my interest was piqued. Perry Farrell handles vocals on one tune, a dubby track where he tries a bit of toasting that leaves me unimpressed. David Byrne co-writes and sings on Lonely Hunter, and it works pretty well - an uptempo, Afropop flavored tune given the glossy sonic treatment by the Thievery boys. The name that really grabbed me though was the Flaming Lips. Credited for vocals, guitar and additional orchestration on Marching the Hate Machines (Into the Sun), it's a downtempo beauty featuring lush keys, some great twangy guitar bits, a nice mellow beat and Wayne's vocals about robots. Their two styles blend very well. As for the rest of the record, it's business as usual - reggae, raga and Latin influences sprinkled over breakbeats and hip hop beats. Nice, but nothing new.

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