The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips with Prefuse 73 EP

written by: June 9, 2011
Release Date: May 24, 2011


Following the band’s rejuvenation in 2009 with their Embryonic album, The Flaming Lips have been experimenting with release formats as well as collaborations. The gummy skull with a USB drive embedded inside—something only The Lips would think of—was outlandishly awesome. The collaboration with Neon Indian was an exciting prospect with beautifully colored vinyl. Unfortunately, in both cases listeners were left with little else to talk about besides the packaging. The tunes weren’t memorable (if they were even considered tunes). In the case of the Neon Indian collabo, listening ears weren’t even able to spot the guest’s contributions.

With The Lips’ next collaborative effort comes an equally neatly colored vinyl record and equally average music.

This time the invisible guest is glitch-hop producer Guillermo Scott Herren AKA Prefuse 73. Though, like The Lips, he has proven to be somewhat of a musical chameleon, he is most noted for his jazzy, glitchy hip-hop-influenced beats. There is nary a glitch nor a hip-hop vibe to be found on this EP’s four tracks. Even on “Guillermo’s Bolero” Scott Herren is unnoticeable. Perhaps he’s sampling the band and making ambience out of it, but regardless, it’s not particularly enchanting.

This EP is predominantly ambient material not unlike sections of Embryonic. Sometimes fuzzy and dissonant, sometimes bright and clear. Again, nearly all of it passes by with little effect on its audience. Embryonic was an artistic breakthrough, totally shifting the band’s gears from their work in the preceding decade. While it’s easy to accept that works following will be similar, it’s not easy to accept that the band seems to be giving little effort. Maybe after the major shift and huge scope of Embryonic the band is in a bit of a haze, biding their time until the follow-up with something to keep fans entertained. The releases themselves do make for excellent collector’s items, but one has to hope that The Flaming Lips’ next full-length doesn’t disappoint like this recent string of EPs.

The Flaming Lips with Prefuse 73 Tracklist:

  1. “The Super Moon Made Me Want to Pee”
  2. “Heavy Star Movin'”
  3. “Be Like That That”
  4. “Guillermo’s Bolero”