Album Of The Week: The Flaming Lips’ Oczy Mlody
There are bands that do unique and weird things, and then there’s The Flaming Lips. Things have changed a lot since the band started out as “the punks on acid” in the early ‘80s and then gradually became an enigmatic and psychedelic act of wonder. The core members of Wayne Coyne, Michael Ivins and Steven Drozd always manage to delve into different territory and push the artistic envelope with each release. Their latest, Oczy Mlody, takes the senses to a totally different place. Soothing tones and hypnotic vibes are abundant from start to finish.
It’s The Flaming Lips’ first album without longtime drummer Kliph Spurlock who left after the making of the band’s previous album, The Terror, in 2014. There are orchestral dimensions and extravagant structures that make up parts of each track. Coyne’s vocals seem like they’re traveling over the rhythms and beats as if on a voyage. It seems like the band has gone further toward the electronic realm while retaining their psychedelic roots.
The album goes along with the space aesthetics that have always been a part of The Flaming Lips’ sound. A dream pop presence is noticeable while the wide-ranging arrangements keep the album from becoming redundant and boring. For a band as limitless as The Flaming Lips, there’s not a lot that can be predicted when a new release is put out. Oczy Mlody is a great example of how Coyne and company can progress their art and present new things more than 30 years later. For a closer look, let’s check out my top tracks off of the Album Of The Week:
“How???” abides by the space aesthetic. The track has Coyne singing about diversity and dividing and how people won’t listen or pay attention to what’s happening in our society. With a little bit of a surf vibe, “The Galaxy I Sink” is a tad atmospheric and abstract. There’s also that orchestral dimension coming in near the end. Featuring Miley Cyrus, “We A Famly” has a mesmerizing guitar tone and when the bass hits, the song changes instantly.
On March 3, The Flaming Lips will take over the House Of Blues in Boston for what should be a one-of-a-kind experience. If you haven’t seen them live yet, you absolutely should. They’re one of the best live bands on the planet and it’ll be a memorable thing to witness. In the meantime, pick up a copy of Oczy Mlody. It’s an album that’ll open the mind and make you explore it.