The Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody
Jan 16, 2017
So following the release for the pre-release singles and my serious distaste for them, I knew I was ready to pan the shit out of this, but I was still hoping for the Lips' followup to their 2013 masterpiece to turn out at least somewhat good. And you know what? Oczy Mlody is actually far from the trainwreck a lot of people are leading it on to be.

As someone who absolutely adores the repetition and the electronic minimalism of The Terror but hates the symphonic sappiness of Yoshimi, Oczy Mlody has really only left me more conflicted than either satisfied or disappointed as it tries to incorporate a sort of blend between the two shades of the band's varying sound. On one hand, you have, well, pretty much all of the singles strongly representing the Yoshimi side of things - 'How??' is a confused number, undecided with whether it wants to be cheery and grand or bleak and minimal, 'Sunrise' is at it's most a Yoshimi leftover, 'The Castle' has a nice meaning to its story about the sacred beauty of childlike innocence, but lacks in any engaging song structure, and then you have 'We a Famly' which is an otherwise solid tune ruined by disgustingly large compressed outbursts on the chorus and the surprise of Miley Cyrus' gross smoker laugh introducing the second verse. Everything else, honestly, sounds like a solid continuation of what The Terror brought except now approached in the sense of a wild, LSD trip. It's either gorgeously happy or horrifically bleak like a real drug trip and it makes for some truly excellent moments like the minimal yet primal, driving beats and the super sinister tone of the 6-minute 'One Night While Hunting for Faeries...' or really the entirety of 'Listening to the Frogs' which I won't spoil since it's already one of the year's best tracks. Seriously some stellar diamonds in the rough hidden around here.

It's a huge, steaming pile of messy detours that vary the record's mood far too often and unneeded guest features which ruin potentially great moments with that Reggie Watts bit about getting the police to retire so everyone could get high and love in 'There Should Be Unicorns' being the most groan-inducing, but I can still applaud the group for seriously maintaining an adventurous edge. It's a real trip!

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