Soundscape – a sound or a combination of sounds that forms an immersive environment. “You’re Dead!,” the new album from hip-hop/electronica veteran engineer Flying Lotus is practically the definition of the term. Flying Lotus, who has consistently put out an album every other year since 2006, has carved out a unique place in music with his blend of hip hop, electronic and jazz. “You’re Dead!” is possibly his most genre-bending album yet. In between stuttering, spastic jazz tracks, a mix of angelic RnB vocals and distorted, demonic voices flow over grounded and signature drums.
Apparently intended to be a journey through the afterlife, this album sounds terrifying and awe-inspiring. It is both maddening and disturbing, while maintaining a peacefulness during certain tracks. The features, from Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg, consecutively, appear as a quick stop on this train through Hades. Appearing pretty early on, the features seem to alternatively serve as a sort of sideshow introduction into this world that FlyLo has created. Kendrick’s verse is one of his best of 2014 so far. It is immaculate and breathtaking. Next to it, Snoop Dogg’s verse just seems.. Silly. Snoop’s feature is probably my one complaint about “You’re Dead!”. He just doen’t really belong on there. The instrumental is actually quite good, with a bouncy synthesizer and plenty of gun sounds, but the ol’ D-O-double G’s voice just kind of ruins it.
As far as the theme, the record does seem to follow a story arc. You enter the afterlife with the first few songs, “Theme”, “Tesla” and “Cold Dead”. Then, “Turkey Dog Coma” and “Stirring” guide you into the realm of “Coronus, the Terminator”, which seems to be a slow, mourning, death march. “Descent Into Madness” begins the spiral plunge into darkness which is resolved with the last two tracks “Your Potential//The Beyond” and “The Protest”. When you have finished listening to the record, you are left with a great sense of satisfaction, and when it comes to crafting the strange and beautiful, it seems that Flying Lotus has once again proved himself the master.
- Cold Dead
- Fkn Dead
- Never Catch Me (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)
- Dead Man’s Tetris (Feat. Captain Murphy and Snoop Dogg)
- Turkey Dog Coma
- Coronus, the Terminator
- Siren Song (Feat. Angel Deradoorian)
- Ready Err Not
- Eyes Above
- Moment of Hesitation
- Descent Into Madness (Feat. Thundercat)
- The Boys Who Died In Their Sleep (Feat. Captain Murphy)
- Obligatory Cadence
- Your Potential//The Great Beyond (Feat. Niki Randa)
- The Protest