Flaming Lips return with a different melody


Artwork by Warner Bros.

By Michael Gorman

With their 14th studio album“Oczy Mlody,” The Flaming Lips is moving away from the clear, cohesive sound that has been a staple on their more recent albums.

In an interview with Billboard, frontman Wayne Coyne explained, “We just worked on whatever songs we stumbled upon and put them together into this album.” The more relaxed approach definitely resulted in a better product, but the album often feels disjointed and sometimes outright strange.

“There Should Be Unicorns” is a winding, harrowing track dedicated to the band’s love for the mystical animal. Weaving guitar riffs along with an ominous bassline combine to create an eerie mood. While Coyne revisits the wonders of childhood, the listener is left wondering what just happened.

The spaciest song on the album is “Listen to the Frogs With Demon Eyes.” The song appears to have a message of belief in a partner, but the meaning is clouded by obscure lyrics: “I can’t see your love but I know it is there” which contrasts with “Have you ever seen someone die / In the summertime?” The lyrics create an interesting song but with little takeaway.

As a whole, the band’s work with Miley Cyrus has left its mark all over the album, but no song gets crazier than “We A Family,” which features Cyrus. The track begins with a pleasant acoustic guitar accompanied by Coyne’s soft vocals, but as the track goes on, his voice switches between auto-tune and complete distortion, leading to a wild experiment that’s difficult to enjoy.

The alternative nature of The Flaming Lips shines through, which will please fans, but few others. No album with a name like “Oczy Mlody” is going to be normal.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5