Sound — 4
I must admit I have no idea what spurred them to make this album. All Dark Side of the Moon covers are doomed to fall short, most often far short, of what might be rock's most brilliant masterpiece, so why waste the time and money? Live performances always made more sense than me, I never understood the pretension behind making it into a studio album though. While it surpasses "Dub Side of the Moon", it is only slightly less silly. To start with, Henry Rollins recites the spoken words parts as if he doesn't even know the meaning of the words and is just reading from a sheet of paper. His speaking voice is quite unremarkable anyway and I have no idea why they chose him of all people for the project. The vocals are passable for the most part, but the background singer on Eclipse made me burst out laughing and the rest is for the most part unremarkable. The music in general has two modes: emotionless and funky. After spacing out through a very dry and dull version of Us and Them (and not in the way you're supposed to), I found myself feeling like I stumbled on to the set of a porno with "Any Colour You Like". It was very much a laugh out loud moment. It seems they basically fused a legendary masterpiece with 80's synthpop. Yeah. I like The Flaming Lips and usually dig their sound, but it just doesn't work here at all.
Lyrics — 8
Here The Lips have it easy: Roger Waters wrote some very brilliant lyrics and all they had to do was sing them. But they sing them badly. Now, I'll give them credit for being on pitch I guess, but it isn't hard when the pitch hardly changes. A spoken word version would have been more effective, not that I'm saying that would sound good either. But hey, there's an idea! William Shatner does Dark Side of the Moon, anyone? This category only gets an 8 because I cannot possibly rate the lyrics lower than that. They are an easy 10 on the original album.
Overall Impression — 5
I don't think anybody, even The Flaming Lips and associates, hoped to compare to the original album. But - and forgive my French - the result here sounds like a bunch of guys jacking off on to Dark Side of the Moon. When it tries to be serious it sounds weak, and otherwise it doesn't sound like The Lips took the original album seriously at all. I'm sure they do, but you can't just throw a bunch of 80's-esque grooves over one of the greatest and most profound pieces of music ever written. It struck me as unintentionally disrespectful, like a bunch of kids were playing it, which is sad seeing how long The Flaming Lips have been around. I can only give them a five for effort.