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Monday, October 19, 2020

Album Review: The Flaming Lips’ “Oczy Mlody”

By Suzanna Leung

 

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The Flaming Lips embark on a fantastical musical journey filled with childlike wonder in their new album, “Oczy Mlody,” which roughly translates to ‘the eyes of of the young’ in Polish.

“Oczy Mlody” is The Flaming Lips’ 14th full-length studio album and their first project after producing Miley Cyrus’ SoundCloud exclusive album “Dead Petz.”  This album incorporates dream-pop elements with seemingly nonsensical dialogue about wizards and unicorns to their claustrophobic neo-psychedelia rock sound.

The album begins with its title track, “Oczy Mlody,” an instrumental song with a simple synthesized melody playing over a baseline of heavy reverb. The track immediately sets the tone for the album’s slow, whimsical dream-pop feel with hints of the band’s usual cramped baseline production.

In The Flaming Lips’ normal fashion, the song seamlessly transitions into its second track “How.” The song carries the synthesized melody from the title track throughout the length of the song and reintroduces the baseline under lead singer Wayne Coyne’s mellow vocals. The opening tracks act as the introduction into the band’s childlike exploration of music.

“There Should Be Unicorns,” marks the album’s entrance into its more fantasy-styled realm. The song starts off with a groovy feel before it transitions to include more techno influence. It is also the first instance of spoken dialogue within the album, featuring comedian Reggie Watts.

Watts’ dialogue within the song includes him saying that if the police come he would give them so much money that they could retire from “their terrible and violent jobs.”

In all, the dialogue and lyrics within “There Should Be Unicorns” makes little to no sense, but the multi-faceted song makes for an interesting listen at the very least.

“One Night While Hunting for Faeries and Witches and Wizards to Kill,” spends its first minute with a heavy, droning bass layered with light and consistent clicks. Coyne’s deeply synthesized singing voice begins to tell the story of his journey while hunting for the title’s mystical creatures. As the song progresses, more and more sounds are layered into the track, including the tambourine and pulsating synth notes. The song closes with the sound of a bell playing the final notes of the track.

The Flaming Lips close the album with its lead-single, “We A Famly” featuring Miley Cyrus. The song uses Cyrus and Coyne’s voices in automated harmony over loud, synthesized instrumentals. All of the sounds that have been layered together create a chorus that comes just close enough to white noise while Coyne and Cyrus’ voices progress its melody.

Finally, the album closes with Cyrus saying “We a famly,” followed by the band members laughing.

This album lacked the diversity between songs that their previous albums had. 

Suzanna Leung

“Oczy Mlody,” is the band’s highly anticipated return from their previous release, four years ago. However, this album lacked the diversity between songs that their previous albums had. Aside from their single “We A Famly” the other songs within the album come off as indistinguishable from one another.

As a whole, the album carries on a similar sound and melody through its entirety, with its pulsing synth notes and white noise baseline, making it consistent to listen to. Although it is not a bad album, “Oczy Mlody” pales in comparison to the thirteen records that precede it.

The Flaming Lips will be performing at the Paramount Theater in Seattle on May 16.

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