Flying Lotus: ‘You’re Dead!’ Album Review

And at long last it’s time for yet another Flying Lotus experience. But as dark and gloomy the title may sound, it contains some of the most inspiring and vivacious beats he’s ever shaped up. Keeping up the regular two-year pattern of releases, You’re Dead! is a luxurious triumph on what Flying Lotus is truly capable of. Not since Cosmogramma has Flying Lotus released some of his most abrasive work, putting his heart and soul into each track. Such features including Thundercat, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Angel Deradoorian play a fundamental role in the path of You’re Dead!.

Clocking at just over 38 minutes, Flying Lotus personifies a true musician at work. The first track titled “Theme” starts out bleak then instantly harvests a flurry of musical patterns to start the album as polarising as you’d imagine. Already setting the mood for a frantic experience, a medley of tracks follow up on the intro. It’s only on track 5 where we hear the first vocals from the You’re Dead! and it’s an honour to give Kendrick Lamar the opportunity to ironically murder the track. Did Kendrick Lamar once again deliver a pulsating verse? Hell yeah he did. “They say that heaven’s real, analyse my demise, they say I’m super anxious” is a powerful intake on individuals who are curious on what lies ahead beyond their existence here on Earth. The track reaches the pinnacle towards the end switching to familiar ground incorporating an experimental but soulful piece of magic. “Dead Man’s Tetris” is the turning point of the album where it takes a new twist soon afterwards. Captain Murphy, the alias of Flying Lotus is introduced at long last. He opens with a spooky tone stating, “Hold up, hold up, I bet she thinking that we dead”. Soon after, west coast legend Snoop Dogg steals the show with this smooth flow and lyricism while sticking to familiar territory covering the theme of death.

The album continues to play out fantastically with astronomical jams, but nothing is more gripping than taking in “Coronus, The Terminator”. It may take a while to start off but when it’s in cruise control, nothing is more exquisite than this soulful empowering track. Towards the end of You’re Dead!, I started to get the feeling the Grim Reaper was in the same room as me when obscure, ambiguous beats start to commence all of a sudden. This includes the audacious “Siren Song” where Angel Deradoorian sings as if I’m entering the heavens gate. The atmosphere is radical though it gets even more peculiar when “Turtles”, “Ready Err Not” and “Eyes Above” enter the frame. The sight of death seems closer towards the end of You’re Dead!. I give further praise for the direction Flying Lotus takes me and it’s a more daunting experience every time I replay the album. The final track on the contrary is potentially one of 2014’s most striking efforts containing neo-soul. When I first heard “The Protest”, I sensed hope and optimism thus not thinking about the time of death. I received an out-of-body experience when listening to You’re Dead!, no joke.