Review Summary: At last...
Never have The Flaming Lips been ones to shy away from expanding upon their own experimental tendencies, no matter the reception. Whether it be a Beatles cover album with nonsensical sound effects and filters, or an hour-long edit of a behemoth day-long song, the band have not only been the kings of gimmickry, but have championed experimentation as their main goal, to see how far they can take both aspects to the extreme. However, on ”Atlas Eets Christmas”
, the experimentation is thrown right out the back door in favor of the best time of the year: Christmas. Yes! It’s another Christmas album, following the ”Christmas on Mars”
soundtrack, this time focusing on covers of everyone’s favorite holiday tunes, as well as an original track right in the middle, and another near the end. Originally released as a limited CD back in 2007 under the name of “Imagene Peise”, ”Atlas”
lacks the psych-pop freak outs of other albums, going for a more reserved, peaceful sound this time around. This change shows throughout its 37 minute long run-time, trading in guitars and synths for bass and piano.
Aside from the history of the album, there’s little to say about the album itself. Everyone, and I mean everyone
, knows the music on here - save for two new tracks, the title track being one of them (as sung by Steven Drozd through a dozen filters or two). The track fits in mightily well with the other tunes and standards of the album, and features vocals, some of the very few throughout the album. Other tracks such as ”Silver Bells”
and ”Frosty the Snowman”
sound just the same as they did in previous years, just with a Flaming Lips twist, laden with vocal-esque synthesizers and sitar that is complimented with a jazz-like rhythm similar to the compositions of Vince Guaraldi.
With this release, it makes 2014 one of the band’s most eventful years: a dispute within in the band led to drummer Kliph Scurlock’s departure; a collaboration album for the ages (that underwhelmed beyond anyone’s expectations), another metaphysical dump on a classic Pink Floyd album (as a joke this time), and us learning that the Electric Wurms’ music is really, really
hard to twerk to. It’s been a long, hard and strenuous year, so why not relax by the fire with a cup of eggnog and listen to an album of cheerful, jolly Christmas tunes - preferably the one and only ”Atlas Eets Christmas”