Flying Lotus:” You’re Dead” Review

Flying Lotus, the experimental, multi-faceted producer, recently released his bold new album, You’re Dead!

Assigning a genre to Flying Lotus is a task that is almost impossible. Combining instrumental electronic music with jazz and hip hop influences leaves a sound that is altogether unique. These combinations are perfectly utilized in his newest album.

FlyingLotusSteven Ellison, known by his stage name Flying Lotus (and also his rapping persona Captain Murphy) has encountered death again and again in his lifetime, including his parents and grandparents, as well as several friends.

After losing such close personal influences and artistic inspirations as his great aunt, the legendary jazz pianist Alice Coltrane, and one of his close friends, the acclaimed rapper J Dilla, in his fifth studio album the Los Angeles producer explores mortality and loss.

To the uninitiated, Flying Lotus may just sound like sounds and beeps. The intricacies of his music are complex though, and when it is explored the distinct different influences are seen.

Flying lotus has an immense jazz influence, potentially due to his jazz royalty background. Songs like “Tesla” uses pacing and sounds that evokes the 70’s experimental jazz seen in albums like “Bitches Brew” by Miles Davis.

There is a clear hip-hop effect created by his beats, and he utilizes Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg expertly on songs “Never Catch Me” and “Dead Man’s Tetris.”

This album is also the first time that Captain Murphy, Flying Lotus’ rapping character, and Flying Lotus, his producing identity, have interacted. This symbolizes a      of two dimensions, and the connection leads to a highlight.

The three song run of “Coronus, the Terminator”, “Siren Song”, and “Turtles” is a highpoint in this album, and the cohesiveness of these songs are a great representation of how he combines different aspects of his production to create a sound that conjures a hallucination of sound, similar to the psychedelic album cover.

This is the type of album that one gets lost in, the continuity of his production leads to a sound that can appear to be one continuous song, rather than a collection. There is a dream-like quality to his music; it creates a general aura that is maintained throughout the album.

At 38 minutes, this is one of the shortest projects in FlyLo’s discography, but by keeping it succinct he manages to maintain a consistent theme without drifting and rambling. Rather than an hour of good music, it is shorter but he preserves excellent quality.

Overall, I give this album an 8.7 out of 10.

Bailey Vehslage, Arts Editor

Posted by on October 15, 2014. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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