The Flaming Lips - Ocuzy Mlody
The Flaming Lips
It usually takes some time between proper Flaming Lips records with 2013's The Terror being the last album from the band. That time is usually spent finding a new sound, new issues to tackle and basically doing Flaming Lips things. That system was thrown off a bit however with the inclusion of Miley Cyrus as the bands go to muse. They even backed her on her Dead Petz project and gave Cyrus an edge and indie cred that she could only try to manufacture before. What Cyrus has done for the Flaming Lips however is infuse some youthful energy where there used to be grizzled vets looking to get through the next album. Ocuzy Mlody however is hopeful, vibrant and energetic in a way that The Flaming Lips have not been for years. The record is very electronic in a way that The Lips have never been in the past. There are really no real drums to speak of, let alones any standout guitar lines, and the record than takes on a much more academic, figuring out what we can really do production wise, rather than emotional stance. it gives you this really dense piece of music that can be dissected and examined but the weighty issues and strong themes have gone away. Lyrically the record is also much more whimsical with lyrics about Unicorns and Wizards which are interesting yet quite confusing at times as well.
The twitchy electronic sound that The Flaming Lips create throughout the album makes the fantastic lyrics feel much more grounded in a somewhat odd way. It seems like some songs should be for kids, but then they flip one thing or another and it only makes sense for adults. It is almost Alice in Wonderland in that sense, one foot in the world of children and the other with the adults. The last track which is the only one to actually feature Miley Cyrus also happens to hit the hardest with the techno glitch and bang. It almost verges on trap at times and stands out as the most inventive song on the album. "There Should Be Unicorns" spoken word interlude dances around politics yet focused more on the psychedelic trip of it all rather than taking a deep dive into the political well. There is a lot to really like about Ocuzy Mlody and also a lot to be a bit confused by. What is really impressive however is that 30 years on The Flaming Lips are still evolving and pushing the musical envelope. We all should aspire to be that creative for that long.
7.9 out of 10