April 13, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends

Current Status
In Season
music label
Warner Bros.
We gave it an A

Bon Iver, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Ke$ha (yes, Ke$ha) score golden tickets to the Lips’ sonic Wonka factory on this exclusive Record Store Day release. Their fresh influx of ideas on The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends creates new flavor profiles for the band’s loopy psychedelic slurry: Ke$ha spews shards of sass over robot rocker ”2012” and Martin’s dreamy falsetto melts into the meditative dirge ”I Don’t Want You to Die,” while Bon Iver’s ”Ashes in the Air” casts its own woozy spell. Frontman Wayne Coyne remains a singular ringmaster, but here’s proof that even mad geniuses need Fwends. A

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