More Flaming Lips. Not to be confused with that Portlandia episode, I mean there is literally more Flaming Lips. On January 13th, 2017, the Lips released their fourteenth studio album Oczy Mlody. It’s more hazy, but exaggerated.
After The Terror (2013), things took a spin for the group. In 2014, they did a complete cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band entitled With a Little Help from My Fwends featuring a wide-range of musicians including Miley Cyrus, which wasn’t pleasant say the least. Nevertheless, Coyne’s collaboration with Kesha was the biggest turnoff. We knew the lips were declining, but we didn’t know they were this desperate. After The Flaming Lips announced a new album last October, I wasn’t too thrilled because of the direction the band was heading. Then in early January, when seeing the album surface on the internet, I was attracted by the bizarre laser-like album cover. I couldn’t read the title on the cover and didn’t have a clue since I wasn’t following it at all. Then I finally saw its title, Oczy Mlody – which reminded me of hallucinogenic drugs and a term that the Lips would’ve used during their prime. Coyne expressed that it’s Polish for “eyes of the young”. However, my drug assumption gave me hope, so I listened to it.
Oczy Mlody is an album that is experimental, well-structured, including some great transitions, and psychedelia/electronic soundscapes. It’s a very trippy record; I recommend not rubbing your eyes while listening to it. Coyne has described it as “Syd Barrett meets A$AP Rocky and they get trapped in a fairy tale from the future,” The opening of the album, “Oczy Mlody” flows flawlessly into the next track “How??,” being one of the key parts of the album. The song “There Should Be Unicorns” was a peculiar track, but still mediocre. It was one of the more popular songs coming into the album, since it was performed live at previous shows. Also, did I mention it features an Isaac Hayes-like Reggie Watts? The alluring “Sunrise (Eyes of the Young)” comes off as a Yoshimi styled track, so beautiful and superior. After this, you reach the more techno-Rambo parts – meaning that the instrumentation is like a space war with ray guns – but “Listening to the Frogs with Demon Eyes” gives you the goosebumps, rather than PTSD. The albums peaks with the track “The Castle”. It’s filled with shining synth chords above a simple drum beat and again, feels like a classic Flaming Lips song. And now…the last song “We a Family” features the soon to be member of the group (pretty much), Miley Cyrus. I consider skipping this song and pretending that it ends at “Almost Home (Blisko Domu)”. However, it could’ve been worse.
The Flaming Lips are known for their experimental instrumentation, elements of space rock and psychedelic lyrics, amusing live shows and stunts (Wayne’s inflatable crowd surfing ball), and having very good and very mediocre albums. They started to decay, now they are back.
Favorite Tracks: “How??,” “There Should Be Unicorns,” “Sunrise (Eyes of the Young),” “Galaxy I Sink,” “Listening to the Frogs with Demon Eyes,” “The Castle”
Least Favorite Tracks: “Nigdy Nie (Never No),” “One Night While Hunting For Faeries and Witches and Wizards to Kill,” “Almost Home (Blisko Domu),” “We a Family”
Listen to Oczy Mlody here.