Review by Dom Vigil
Easily the best thing about The Flaming Lips is their ability to adapt to any sound, mood or genre and make it their own. For their new album, Oczy Mlody, the band has created a dreamy musical landscape, something that has to be listened to a few times in full to truly appreciate it, but will resonate with any fan upon their first time hearing it. Oczy Mlody is a bit more on the mellow, experimental side, swapping melodic, catchy choruses for ambient instrumentals, hypnotizing vocals and songwriting that will make your head spin, and that’s perfectly okay.
The album’s intro and title track serves as a strange and electric instrumental opener - something you’d expect from The Flaming Lips, but with a refined, fresh tone that reminds you that Oczy Mlody is new. And from there, anything is fair game. The rest of the album is psychedelic, but unpredictable. It flows with ease, but never once feels tired or repetitive. Within no time, it’ll be easy to close your eyes and feel completely immersed in The Flaming Lips’ world of beautiful, oscillating sounds, poetic lyricism, incredible production and every ounce of psychedelia that you’ve come to expect from them.
One of the strongest tracks on Oczy Mlody actually comes early on. “How??” comes right after the opener and moves things forward in the perfect eerie, yet comforting way. Wayne Coyne’s voice is absolutely hypnotic in this track, and as the album moves forward, this proves to be true in nearly every single song. Musically, “How??” delivers intense bass that thumps in time with your heartbeat, while higher synth parts round things out. Following “How??” is “There Should Be Unicorns,” which will give fans a taste of the weirdness that they love from The Flaming Lips. Following the theme of the first couple of songs, this track still feels a bit dark, but lyrically, it’s bright and colorful.
Where the first few songs are on the darker, more intense side, “Sunrise” shakes things up with a brighter sound, just as the title would suggest. Then comes “Nigdy Nie (Never No),” which is an onslaught on all of the senses. This track changes tempo and mood so often and so fast that it’ll make your head spin. It’s also in this song, and the following “Galaxy I Sink” that the incredible production on Oczy Mlody really shines.
As a whole, Oczy Mlody is significantly more mellow than some of the band’s previous work, but where it lacks in high energy and catchy melodies it makes up for in smart songwriting and unpredictability. The album has a very dreamy and otherworldly quality about it, but is so diverse from track to track that it never feels sleepy or boring by any means. Each song flows easily from one to the other like a story, but no two songs sound exactly alike. For instance, “Listening To The Frogs with Demon Eyes” is very earthy and focuses mostly on background noises and small details to set the mood, where “The Castle” feels very refined, light and airy. Then comes the massive finale in “We A Family,” which already promises to be absolutely mind-blowing when performed live.
Fans who are looking for a sing-along may be disappointed, but those looking for something beautiful and fresh from the band will be pleasantly surprised with this release. Relaxing and dazzling yet terrifyingly intense at the same, Oczy Mlody marks a new era for a band that is still somehow capable of surprising listeners after all of these years.
Listen to "How??" or "We A Family"
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