Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. 100
    Their [the guest artists'] fresh influx of ideas on The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends creates new flavor profiles for the band's loopy psychedelic slurry.
  2. Heady Fwends, rather inexplicably, plays much like a proper follow-up to their 2009 mindfuck Embryonic, and their ability not only to bring a project like this together at all, but to make it work so cohesively and effectively, is as strong a testament as any to their genius.
  3. May 30, 2012
    82
    What at first seems rather silly actually proves to be quite purposeful.
  4. 80
    This is actually one of the Lips' more coherent efforts, despite its wild diversity and devil-may-care attitude.
  5. One day, maybe the Lips will play nice again. Until then, they and their Fwends have given us plenty to get our heads around.
  6. Jul 23, 2012
    80
    It's a captivating mix of material, yet hangs together well and has a surprisingly easy flow.
  7. Jul 5, 2012
    80
    Anticipation has been high for the album's official release, and Heady Fwends doesn't disappoint.
  8. Jun 27, 2012
    80
    The stunning cover is the most beautiful and cohesive on what is an otherwise (understandably) uneven collection which, while definitely appealing to hardcore fans, might be a bit too out there for casual listeners.
  9. Jun 1, 2012
    80
    A terrific package. [Jul 2012, p.71]
  10. The triumph of Heady Fwends lies the way it sands off the rough edges off 2011's excess and whittles an honest, enjoyable set out of the mire while coaxing a wealth of unexpected voices into the fray without losing its way.
  11. Jul 31, 2012
    70
    [The album is] a reminder of musically, just what a great band the Flips themselves actually are.
  12. Jul 5, 2012
    70
    As it stands, it's still quite a special document and points a direction for the possibilities of a collaborative record when serious creativity comes to the fore.
  13. 70
    It all adds up to a deeply deranged and intermittently great listen, and serves as a decent stopgap 'til the band's next album proper.
  14. Jun 22, 2012
    70
    For sheer frazzled sonics and sci-fi future textures, Heady Fwends can't be beat. Actual songs are few and far between, and anyone looking for heart-stopping melodies will be disappointed. But if you're in the mood for a 70-minute aural assault, listen no further.
  15. May 30, 2012
    70
    It works more often then it doesn't, but when digested as a whole, it's hard to think of an album released this year that is as wall-to-wall memorable as The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, flaws and all.
  16. Jun 27, 2012
    65
    It may all cohere together, but it doesn't all work.
  17. Aug 20, 2012
    60
    The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends runs the risk of turning into a cluttered affair, but what unfolds is an atmosphere of uninhibited adventure. [Sep 2012, p.100]
  18. Aug 8, 2012
    60
    The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends was the perfect Record Store Day artefact--dramatising the value and mystique of physical recordings. [Sep 2012, p.94]
  19. Jul 26, 2012
    60
    Beneath the sludge and churning distortions, however, is a characteristically generous squaring-up to life's horror and humanity that is worth excavating.
  20. Jul 25, 2012
    60
    The best moments are those which eschew any attempt to write proper 'songs' and instead simply try to convince the listener that he or she is travelling on an epic, wobbly, thrilling and frightening, mind-expanding journey through outer space.
  21. Jun 25, 2012
    60
    The songs on Fwends swing between rejoicing and dread, sometimes within the same piece of music. The sky is falling, the Lips want to remind us, and it might not be just an acid flashback.
  22. Jun 26, 2012
    50
    It seldom gathers enough momentum, and doesn't feel the least bit cohesive.
  23. Jun 28, 2012
    30
    Heady Fwends has racked up about one song's worth of decent material-only none of it is in the same song.
  24. Aug 1, 2012
    20
    The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends is a flatulent folly, humming with the sulphurous reek of self-indulgence.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 25, 2012
    5
    Okay so technically this is an album but really its just a bunch of collabos that were put together while touring. As recently reported The Flaming Lips have set the Guinness World Record for more performances within a 24 hour period beating Jay-Z's 7 performance record. Also, as you may have seen on the internet as well as on our blog, there has been a video "accidentally released" which features Erykah Badu and her sister nude to go alongside a collab they did. Thats a lot of publicity and noise around an album that sounds like its an old remixed and remastered PinkFloyd Album. In terms of long exaggerated orchestration, dramatic key and time changes, and complex structures. Which aren't terrible elements to have. Dont get me wrong, Im down with the whole psychedelic alternative sound, its just that its not a something that can be listened to everywhere or all the time. Now, the album opens up with a track feat. Ke$ha and BizMarkie and Hour of the Time Majesty 12 called "2012[You Must Be Upgraded]". It Aint half bad. The vocal arrangement of it is interesting as it reminds me of an electronic synth-ed Funkadelic song that transforms into an airy ending scene to some cerebral indie film. Speaking of airy cosmic soundscapes, the intro is followed by a gloomy layered track called "Ashes in the Air" Feat. Bon Iver. Its also not terrible but perhaps a little overzealously reverbed. I personally prefer my psychedelic rock to be a little more jammy with strong drum and distorted guitar that strikes like lightning and a deep consistent bassline to make me rock and vibe out. Luckily they recruited my mans Jim James the lead singer/guitarist from My Morning Jacket for a song called "That Aint My Trip" which ironically is my kinda trip. Wish I had a blunt right now for that one. Its also followed by an almost as good song called "You, Man?Human?: feat. Nick Cave. Then the rest of the album jumps into experimental blahzayhood of soundeffects and clickclacks or better yet organized noise passed off as music. So yeah, musically its pretty cool in a "Hey how did they formulate and mix this song that way..." kind of way. It is definitely not an album that you put on your cell phone, ipod, tablet what have you. In fact you will probably only hear this album the next time you get invited to a modern art event sipping dry wines and eating cheeses courtesy of some uppity late 30's hipster. Full Review »