Every couple of years, The Flaming Lips
remind fans of the great band they once were (if we're lucky). Their new album, Oczy Mlody,
is funky, gothic, psychedelic, and so much more. But for listeners, an important factor to remember is The Lips have never been what you want them to be. The release of their new album is nostalgic and brings them back to their goblin pop sci-fi days (David Bowie would be proud). With some serious synth going on, the album is similar their classics The Soft Bulletin'
(1999) and Yoshimi Battles of the Pink Robots
It is evident that lead singer Wayne Coyne is a unique outlier in songwriting. Oczy Mlody
is filled with sound bits of frogs croaking and solemn lyrics regarding severed eyes intertwined with edible butterflies. The album is experimental and asks the listener to re-evaluate the concept of a "song." If you think a song needs to have a beginning, middle, and end, then this may not be the album for you. The Lips are notorious for piecing bits of sound together that feel incomplete but with purposeful lyrics. Oczy Mlody
is a psychedelic trance that you can get caught in for hours.
Unfortunately for most, there are moments throughout the album where it feels as if the band has fallen too deep in their personal black hole of psychedelic wonderment and are leaving their listeners behind. There are different dynamics in volume and melody that move and build up that feel as if they merely for Coyne's entertainment. It is disappointing that the Lips take an unmusical approach to their usual cosmic pop. Heavily synthesized songs such as "There Should Be Unicorns" aren't groundbreaking or push the band in any new directions. The song titles alone - "Listening to Frogs with Demon Eyes" and "One Night Hunting For Fairies, and Witches and Wizards to Kill" - are simply insane.
A positive highlight is the most traditional song on the album, "We a Family" featuring Miley Cyrus. Cyrus' voice is sweet, adding an innocent layer over the haunting melody. Her appearance is a nice touch to the last track on the album - a celebration of being together, leaving the listener with the feeling of unity as the album ends.
is an artistic statement. While fans may be disappointed now, it may be worth holding out for a year or longer as the guys seem to be able to surprise us when we least expect it.