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'You're Dead!' By Flying Lotus: Album Review

Sivani |
October 8, 2014 | 9:25 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

"You're Dead!" is Flying Lotus' 5th studio album (Flying Lotus/Warp)
"You're Dead!" is Flying Lotus' 5th studio album (Flying Lotus/Warp)

You’re Dead!” is not as morbid as it sounds.

The fifth studio album by electronic artist Flying Lotus – AKA Steven Ellison – clocks in at 38 minutes, making it a short but powerful journey into FlyLo’s musical interpretation of death.

The album flows together seamlessly with its 20 short tracks. The first four tracks together act as a spacey, jazz-infused dark interlude to the first track featuring a vocalist: “Never Catch Me,” with Kendrick Lamar. The beginning of the record also includes a tune featuring jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, “Tesla,” and “Cold Dead” featuring jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington.

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From this we move into goofier territory with the track “Dead Man’s Tetris,” featuring the vocal chops of Snoop Dogg as well as of Flying Lotus himself, rapping under his alter ego, Captain Murphy. “You’re fucking dead!” and deranged laughs play out in the background of this track, interspersed between videogame-esque synth sounds and passing references to J. Dilla and Freddie Mercury.

More instrumental tracks follow suit, moving away from the intense wake-up call of the intro tracks – these are more like curious, ambient explorations of the matter at hand, infused with jazz brass croons, hip-hop beats and the plaintive, airy vocals of Niki Randa as on “Coronus, the Terminator.”  

“Siren Song,” featuring Angel Deradoorian, is a gorgeous astro electronica piece, and signals the transition into the final movement of sorts of the record, with songs like the minimalistic “Ready err Not” and the Thundercat choral-like feature “Descent Into Madness” all piecing together to form a ambient, slower coming down from the manic energy of the album’s first half. These tracks also feel most reminiscent of the electro-ambient progressive sounds from FlyLo’s most recent records, “Cosmogramma” (2010) and “Until The Quiet Comes” (2012).

“You’re Dead!” is fun, introspective, derisive, probing, and altogether something glorious, only enhanced by the presence of several talented collaborators. This record will have you wanting to – as paradoxical as it sounds - “relive” the experience of death several times. Death, jazz fusion and ambient electronic have never come together so well. 

"You're Dead!" is available for purchase on iTunes

Reach Staff Reporter Sivani here



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