For his 32nd birthday this year, Flying Lotus decided to give his diehard fans a present in true Libra fashion. On the one year anniversary of his fifth studio album, You’re Dead, FlyLo has released a deluxe 39-track edition of the album loaded with previously unreleased instrumentals.
The album includes instrumental versions of the original tracks of 2014’s You’re Dead, as well as brings the album into the world of digital distribution for the first time. Originally available as a vinyl box set, the deluxe edition features each track twice – once featuring guest vocals, once without.
The complexity of Flying Lotus’ production and his ability to take listeners to so many places with his experimentation is his strongest suit as a musician. The album could in many ways double as a film score and is most certainly Flying Lotus’ trippiest release to date. This album is not engineered for pre-party listening per se, but more so for intently listening while reading, drawing or drinking a coffee. It’s a lot to digest and the album’s content and direction is as mysterious as it is engaging.
The album flows between several styles of music, further proving that Flying Lotus is hard to pin down. It is as experimental as it is simple, as classical as it is modern and as jazzy as it is electronic. With bursts of sound, it almost feels like a mash-up album, with layers and layers of different instruments, transitioning from intense to delicate. There is some hip hop flavoring thrown in, with guests spots on vocals from Kendrick Lamar, Captain Murphy (FlyLo himself) and Snoop Dog, but overall this is definitely a collection of art that has its own place on the shelf genre-wise.
Theatrical in nature, the album’s theme is a journey through the afterlife through Flying Lotus’ interpretations and experiences. He doesn’t necessarily need words to tell this story and the power of his artistry is fully and humbly flexing here. While the madness of this theme is present throughout the entirety, its darkness is not depressing or distracting. Listeners don’t fully have time to invest emotionally in the deepness of the album’s themes because it’s as quick a listen as it is perplexing.
While this album may not be for everyone, it’s refreshing to enjoy the risks that Flying Lotus takes as a producer and appreciate his true artistry and committed desire to keep evolving and keep creating.
You’re Dead is available via Apple Music.