- 23 Jan 17
Eye-rolling return to form by madcap crew.
What a topsy turvy several years it has been for Wayne Coyne and his jolly jesters. The Flaming Lips’ 2014 Sgt Pepper covers project, A Little Help From My Fwends, was a garish misstep while 2013’s The Terror was genuinely jarring, fuelled as it was by the existential despair frontman Coyne experienced after the end of his marriage.
Altogether more palpable is this new conceptual rock opera, which apparently tells of a coven of megabucks One Percenters seeking bliss through psychedelics (who could blame them?). Obviously it’s a mess – but what Flaming Lips record wasn’t? However, Oczy Mlody is often blissful too and its more coherent moments achieve a grace and majesty comparable to the group’s never-bettered Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (not uncoincidentally, perhaps, also a conceptual affair with a baffling storyline).
You’ll gravitate immediately to closer ‘We A Family’, a hook-up with long-running friend (fwend?) of the band Miley Cyrus, in which she and Coyne bond over a mutual passion for lolling grooves and space-dust guitars. Considerably more challenging are several free-form wig-outs (‘There Should Be Unicorns’ and ‘Galaxy I Sink’). That said, Coyne’s knack for heart-breaking melodies frequently carries the hour, most forcefully on ‘Sunrise (Eyes of the Young)’, a ballad which feels like a companion piece to 2002’s ‘Do You Realise?’