Wayne Coyne has described ‘Oczy Mlody’ as sounding “like Syd Barrett meets A$AP Rocky”. Given that conjures up thoughts of an unholy mess, it’s for the best that Coyne is some way wide of the mark.
The opener and title track is a ponderous instrumental that’s more bass-heavy than you’d expect (maybe that’s the A$AP Rocky “influence”), but it’s just an hors d’oeuvre for the main event. It’s easy to scoff at The Flaming Lips for their publicity stunts and their Miley Cyrus alliance, however, there are few things in music more human and affecting than the sound of Wayne Coyne’s fragile and reedy voice singing about life and death while battling against grandiose, string-laden arrangements. We’re used to The Flaming Lips now, yet still no one captures that feeling of being a single person alone in the vastness of the universe quite like them.
Lyrically, ‘Oczy Mlody’ falls into quixotic non-sequiturs that will either have you nodding sagely or rolling your eyes, depending on your disposition (“Legalise it, every drug right now,” anyone?), but that’s par for the course. They’ve managed to meld together the grand themes of ‘The Soft Bulletin’ and ‘Yoshimi…’ with some of the experimentation of ‘Embryonic’ and ‘The Terror’, and it makes for a fascinating return.
Words: Joe Rivers
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