Although another year is not quite over, a new cover of the classic Lennon song is happily here.
What do you think of when Christmas comes to mind? Being together, not only in happiness and good spirit, but together with family and friends. Collaboration, in other words, of love. The Flaming Lips certainly love a good collaboration, as we have seen and on several occasions, varying from their cover album of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ to their reinvention of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, which offers about as many collaborations in both happiness and good spirit as there are different types of Christmas tree ornaments.
This holiday season is being ushered in by yet another Flaming Lips collaboration. This time, Yoko Ono rejoins them on a contemporary spin off on the late John Lennon’s classic carol ‘Happy X-Mas (War is Over)’, which was released on a playlist curated by the almighty Amazon, where apparently you can now not only order everything from alternators to Grateful Dead bandanas, you can listen to playlists made by them while doing it! One of their holiday playlists, ‘All is Bright’ features the new Flaming Lips song, and is available for free to those who have Amazon Prime.
The song itself is unmistakably Flaming Lips. From the first note, the psychedelic pallet with which the Flaming Lips paint is fully loaded, dripping with echoing dual channel vocals. Electric synth bells fall slowly onto the track, accumulating to augment the droning panned guitar chords that throb back and forth in the songs prologue. A big explosion of drums accompanies Yoko’s entrance, but is halted abruptly and toned down during her passage. Then, Coyne comes back in and we start waltzing back and forth with the drums and Yoko’s background warbles. The song builds up and releases itself into an ecstasy of baubles and tinsel in true 21st Century Christmas fashion. Overall it comes off as a very merry collaboration, with touches of modern love and urban dissonance, like every good holiday should. For more information on ‘All is Bright’ and the warm Flaming Lips ode, check out an under the radar magazine.