Music this week

The Dark Side of the Moon The Flaming Lips Warner Bros Rs 395,rating: HHH

Written by Mohan Kumar | Published: June 26, 2010 10:38:50 pm

There’s a thin line between the daringly bold and the tragically goofy. Suspended in between are space-rockers The Flaming Lips and Co. Taking on the iconic 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon can be like an infant getting into his dad’s shoe,considering the sheer technical brilliance and artistic madness that shaped the numero uno tech-psych fest. The American band The Flaming Lips,known for its elaborate live shows,has recreated the masterpiece in their own experimental way,with some help from fellow space-cadets Star Death and White Dwarfs,as well as Henry Rollins and electro-clash Peaches.

Skipped lyrics,ringing cash registers swapped with space-boogie fuzz,intrinsic acoustics substituted with bubble-wrapped interstellar refrains,and precise guitar solos and sax replaced by outlandish sonar drones are some of the oddities that define the record. Although the album feels psychedelic to the core,the intention is sometimes lost in translation. That’s when you realise and appreciate again the stunning and surreal talent that Pink Floyd was while making the original with the arsenal of the ’70s technology.

The new version starts with the classic heartbeat with Henry Rollins doing the spoken snippets that move on to “Breathe” which,instead of a full-blown space assault,resorts to a propelling funky groove. It is followed by “On the run” with its madcap laughs and futuristic space vehicles. Clocks and ticks are traded for coughs and pants in “Time”,followed by Peaches’s sonic moans trying to scale Clare Torry’s flabbergasting highs in “The great gig in the sky”. The artfully digital “Money”,with its muted bass and croons,moves on to the tactfully reproduced “Us and them”,and a tasty version of “Any colour you like”. This is the cyber version of a classic.

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