The Flaming Lips spent the last three decades summoning freaky visions and displaying them through orchestral-rock and post-punk jams.
The Lips’ usual pucker changed with the release of their latest album, Oczy Mlody, a schlocky rock opera. Oczy Mlody, one of the Lips’ most tuneful releases in years, succeeds in engaging listeners with a variety of beats.
The Lips began recording this album in January of 2015. In 2014, they backed up Miley Cyrus on her teen pop-repudiating, Dead Petz project on Soundcloud. Cyrus later inspired the band to begin recording their 15th album.
The album features a loose story about a fictional drug that makes people sleep for three months.
Coyne claims Oczy Mlody came from a Polish phrase that translates to “eyes of the young.” The title incorporates both the abstract concept of language and the immediacy of the musical moment.
Coyne’s trademark hallucinogenic imagery still thrives. It connects its lyrical universe with unicorns, demon-eyed frogs, and wizards from track titles like “Listening To The Frogs With Demon Eyes” and “One Night While Hunting For Faeries And Witches And Wizards To Kill.”
Over the course of two nights, the first track, “Oczy Mlody” comes together with the descending drum and bass machine recorded along with the synth track creating a heavenly harmony that works.
The third track, “There Should Be Unicorns,” works well, but Reggie Watts spoken word segment is an acquired taste. “Sunrise (Eyes Of The Young)” resembles the affect created in the Lips’ ninth album, The Soft Bulletin, with multidimensional sounds including blissful melodies and orchestral flourishes.
Halfway through “Nidgy Nie (Never No)” a musical and psychic shift occurs. This rhythm continues into the next song, “One Night While Hunting For Faeries and Witches and Wizards To Kill.” It takes a turn from the upbeat electronic soundscape into a slow, dark pace with hypnotic drumming and deep textures that are enjoyable.
Although the full depth of the album is not apparent from the start, the duality of orchestral beats and small amount of lyrics continually reveals new insights.
Coyne suggests, “[The album] somehow swirls around in your mind and touches things and opens things that you could never consciously touch or open.”
Oczy Mlody was worth the three year wait, becoming The Lips’ most melodic album they have released since they gifted their listeners with previous masterworks, The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Album: Oczy Mlody
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Release Date: Jan. 13, 2017