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Published On: Thu, Jan 1st, 2015

The Flaming Lips: Imagene Peise – Atlas Eets Christmas

flaming lips xmasThe Flaming Lips
Imagene Peise – Atlas Eets Christmas
(Warner Bros.)

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I do not celebrate Christmas nor do I have any particular fondness for Christmas music. The only reason I was interested in Imagene Peise – Atlas Eets Christmas is because it was released by The Flaming Lips. The Flaming Lips are a band that never tire of experimenting and playing around. Their take on Dark Side of the Moon, for instance, looks at an established classic a little bit differently and is a really fun listen in and of itself. I absolutely wanted to hear what they did with Christmas songs.

What they did was probably the least expected thing they could have done – they made a fairly traditional Christmas album. Atlas Eets Christmas is mostly jazzy piano arrangements of Christmas classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Silent Night,” and everything else you’d expect. There are occasional little psychedelic touches like sitar, prayer bells, and something that sounds like either a flute or an Eastern stringed instrument, to remind us that this is The Flaming Lips. Otherwise, it fulfills the job of all Christmas albums – to provide inoffensive background music for families to catch up over. The two brief instances where Wayne Coyne’s manipulated voice shows up are kind of trippy, but still won’t make anyone spill their eggnog. There is also the persistent pop and hiss of a record player throughout Atlas Eets Christmas. Or maybe it’s the sound of a crackling fire. Either way, it helps give the album a sense of warmth and homey-ness, making it that much more Christmasy. In a long line of weird projects by The Flaming Lips, the weirdest thing about this album is how normal it is.

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The Flaming Lips: Imagene Peise – Atlas Eets Christmas