Review: Flaming Lips fail with 'Sgt. Pepper' cover

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Posted: Oct 27, 2014 5:21 PM
Review: Flaming Lips fail with 'Sgt. Pepper' cover

The Flaming Lips, "With a Little Help from My Fwends" (Warner Bros.)

Ever wonder what "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" would sound like sung by robots? Me neither, but here's the answer.

The Flaming Lips have recorded a full-length tribute to the Beatles' 1967 album, and the music is even more far-out and psychedelic than the landmark original. This daft pop is silly, bombastic, druggy, irreverent and rude, with lots of bleeps and blasts, but it's not much fun or funny.

The songs lack the melodic charm and rhythmic bounce of the Fab Four renditions. Instead, there's so much distortion not even "Lovely Rita" is pretty.

And if the goal is merely to be weird, the Lips don't come close to matching William Shatner, who established the standard for bizarre Beatles covers when he sang "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds." There's no Shatner here, but guest appearances by Miley Cyrus, Moby, My Morning Jacket and J Mascis — among others — fail to salvage the set.

The Lips forgo the famous sustained chord to conclude "A Day In the Life." Instead, the song and album end abruptly, as if someone finally wised up and pulled the plug.