Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
Critic Score
Based on 35 reviews
2014 Ratings: #14 / 845
Year End Rank: #9
User Score
Based on 753 ratings
2014 Ratings: #19
October 7, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Warp / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Guardian

There’s always been a sense that Ellison was stretching for a new musical vernacular, one that would continue the lineage of free jazz. This album suggests he might have found it.

95
The 405

This record is a wholly singular work; not only does it defy expectations of what a Flying Lotus album should sound like, it totally obliterates any preconceptions about what can be released by a remotely popular contemporary musician.

91
A.V. Club

Part of his appeal is his reverence for the album as a format—big-name guests emerge as merely part of a scene—and You’re Dead! is his most confidently structured work yet. 

91
Pretty Much Amazing

You’re Dead! is a near-flawless examination of death as narrated by a virtuosic musician who has been exposed to a little too much of it.

90
Exclaim!

Excitingly new yet classically evocative, You're Dead! is contemplative but never boring, an example of genre cross-pollination that transcends novelty and, occasionally, time and space as well.

90
AllMusic

Its flow is even more liquid than that of Until the Quiet Comes, though the sounds are more jagged and free, with roots deeper in jazz.

90
musicOMH

The fact that Ellison squeezes 19 tracks into a brutally concise 38 minutes gives some indication of how wide ranging and tempestuous it is. At times it is wildly celebratory but it veers very suddenly into abrasive and radical territory.

90
PopMatters

The elements of jazz, hip-hop, and IDM blend together to create a soundscape that is anomalously captivating. Made up of 19 tracks that cover less than 40 minutes, You’re Dead! powers ahead at a quick pace, never dwelling on any one sound for too long.

90
Drowned in Sound

The album flourishes during these moments of warmth. It's what the man does best. Too often electronic music has no soul, but this has never been an issue for Flying Lotus

88
Northern Transmissions

The nods to free and soul-jazz are as present as always, but this time their delivery feels more like a real, live band than a rearranging/processing of samples.

85
The Line of Best Fit

A 38 minute journey more complex and original than anything he’s released before it. 

83
Pitchfork

It's far and away the most free-ranging FlyLo album to date. And yet the album doesn't sprawl out of control, maybe because it doesn't really have the time to: the whole record clocks in at just over 38 minutes, all jolts of sound and quick bursts of motifs. 

80
The Skinny

It’s when Lamar and Snoop arrive on Never Catch Me and Dead Man’s Tetris that things get weird, double speed turning to half, free-form jazz segments appearing and dissipating. It’s fragmented and yet, as ever, seems to make total sense.

80
DIY

If scientists inspected half of this album, they’d probably find traces of psychedelics that’ll be introduced to mind-expanders fifty years in the future.

80
NME

’You’re Dead’ is a madly inventive record, one that takes hip-hop and jazz as starting points, beats them both to death and then brings them back to life in an almost unrecognisable form.

80
Resident Advisor

The lines between jazz and Ellison's more traditional beats are blurred almost beyond distinction, encouraging you to hear it as a whole and revel in its dizzying ambiance.

80
XXL

The genius of Flying Lotus, which has been invariably present throughout his preceding releases, but most especially on You’re Dead!, is that he has an incredible ability to both illustrate and extract exceptional amounts of emotion, without saying much at all.

80
Under The Radar

These disparate elements, influences, and guests could have made a mess of an ambitious album, but instead You're Dead! turns out to be Flying Lotus' best yet.

80
HipHopDX

One of the most accomplished releases of the year, You’re Dead! embraces the uncertain, celebrates fear, and induces a meditative consciousness that’s hard to shake after listening.

80
Rolling Stone

On the L.A. artist's fifth Flying Lotus set ... Ellison makes the boldest, most fully engaged fusion of the hip-hop-laptop era.

80
Slant Magazine

On a palette as cluttered with ideas and guest stars as this, maintaining thematic focus could have, in lesser hands, been tricky.

80
Wondering Sound

While it begins with an exclamation point, You’re Dead! ultimately wonders what happens to our souls after we die, and imagines a journey that continues long after our untimely demises.

80
Loud and Quiet

It’s a risky desire to create albums that, if dismantled down to their individual components, rarely make standalone sense, but it’s a bravery that’s consistently rewarded.

80
Clash

Fans searching for club bangers should U-turn now. Once again LA’s most talented beat producer is using his vivid heritage to explore the album format.

80
Mojo

This panoramic attempt to make sense of life’s one certainty beyond taxes flutters far above the digital static of 2008’s breakthrough Los Angeles into twisted, ethereal jazz territory.

80
NOW Magazine

FlyLo's unique beat-based blend of laptop sounds, hip-hop and technically impressive jazz is executed, as always, with a light touch. The tracks ebb and flow, cluster and breathe, and eschew any kind of verse/chorus formula.

80
Crack Magazine

With his fifth LP You’re Dead, we’re now experiencing pure, unadulterated Flying Lotus. Quite an experience it is too.

76
Sputnikmusic

Save for a few stretches of inconsistent detours, You're Dead! is another reliable entry into the canon of one of the most brazen and forward-thinking producers out there. Though not a defining work, it's still a mark of excellence

75
Consequence of Sound

The album works best as a single, unified listen, the instrumental stretches inspiring just as many shivers as the Kendrick and Snoop Dogg features (if not more).

70
Tiny Mix Tapes

You’re Dead! sees FlyLo enter his weirdest phase yet: impatient, irreverent, dangerous, with the confidence to not only try new things but to also fail and keep trying.

70
FACT Magazine

As impressive as this sort of music is as a straight technical accomplishment, I hope I’m not alone when I say that I find it all a bit aimless in the long term. Still, You’re Dead! finds ways to keep things pumping.

65
XLR8R

For an LP about the infinite unknown, it isn't that meditative or self-aware. 

thebibleparttwo
66
just hand me the L. i could never get into this
WhatTheFunk
92
Flying Lotus is the most prominent innovator of hip-hop and electro, generally recognized as the heir of J Dilla in the small world of avant-garde beats. After four albums, FlyLo, whose real name is Steve Ellison, decides to distance himself a little from his habits to venture into a genre with which he has always flirted: jazz. But for this album, he needs help. For example, Thundercat's fingerprints are everywhere on "You're Dead!", Mostly in its avalanches of bass notes. Among the ... read more
morningsbell
89
I'm dead.
KIDWITHGUNs
96
POWERHOUSE

I'm Dead!

I have no words, when it was Kendrick's turn to shine on "Never Catch Me", I played that song back 5 times to process what the hell I just listened to. His performance on that song is just UNREAL

This may just be one of the most magical albums I have ever heard, a flawed album for sure, but undeniably an ambitious one…
Plats
96
"You're Dead!" is a record that continues to blow my mind. The jazz elements Flying Lotus has toyed with are more prominent here (John Coltrane was Steven Ellison's uncle, after all) and these compositions are insane, while his unique production adds to the 38 magical minutes you'll be spending with this album. The features are also outstanding too, with people like the legendary Herbie Hancock, Snoop Dogg, Thundercat and Kendrick Lamar lending their voices and styles. The latter is ... read more
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Track List

  1. Theme
  2. Tesla [ft. Herbie Hancock]
  3. Cold Dead
  4. Fkn Dead
  5. Never Catch Me [ft. Kendrick Lamar]
  6. Dead Man's Tetris [ft. Snoop Dogg and Captain Murphy]
  7. Turkey Dog Coma
  8. Stirring
  9. Coronus, the Terminator
  10. Siren Song [ft. Angel Deradoorian]
  11. Turtles
  12. Ready Err Not
  13. Eyes Above
  14. Moment of Hesitation [ft. Herbie Hancock]
  15. Descent Into Madness [ft. Thundercat]
  16. The Boys Who Died in Their Sleep [ft. Captain Murphy]
  17. Obligatory Cadence
  18. Your Potential / The Beyond [ft. Niki Randa]
  19. The Protest
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Added on: July 22, 2014