In listening to any cover version, I'm hoping for a band's own interpretation of a song. Something which may capture the essence of the original, yet it goes somewhere new and shows the original composition in a different light. One thinks of the Manic Street Preachers interpretation of Rhianna's 'Umbrella', the Jam doing 'David Watts' by the Kinks or even the Futureheads covering Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love'. Bands showing love for songs which they didn't compose.
The Flaming Lips have attempted the impossible. Covering the Dark Side of the Moon is akin to attempting to remake a classic film. A project which could be catastrophic if mishandled. Think of Psycho. Then the remake. Oh dear!
In the world of music, the Dark Side of the Moon is only equalled by the likes of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the terms of the massive effect it had at its time of release and is able to carry to this day. Certain Albums need not be referred to by their band or artist, just by their name alone. Songs in the key of life... Thriller... Pet Sounds... They capture a moment in time and in our own lives.
The Flaming Lips have not attempted to outdo Pink Floyd, nor have they tried to redefine the songs. Some of them sound very different to their 1973 counterparts (as you'd expect). The real surprise for me is that the album flows with just the same atmosphere which comes across on the original. All of the snippets of interviews from the DSOTM have been spoken here by Henry Rollins, none of it sounds contrived. 'Money' sounds like an alien has given their reading of it, 'Us and them' is about the closest to the Floyd.
All in all, this is clearly a labour of love. One which has been completed for fun above all else, not as a chance to massage egos or pay some bills. Hearing this made me want to listen to the Floyd's epic DSOTM again, I guess that was part of the Lips' vision.