Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! [Album Review]

flying-lotus-youre-dead Flying Lotus
You’re Dead!
Warp Records [2014]



Fire Note Says: Flying Lotus defies description with You’re Dead.

Album Review:
Flying Lotus, nee Steven Ellison, can be counted on to make interesting music. His latest, You’re Dead!, ups that factor by a degree or two. This is Flying Lotus’ fifth studio album and his experience is evident from the first note. The first four tracks of the LP are instrumental jazz-fusion type pieces. The improvisational tone of the album is set at that point but Ellison is not content to rest on his laurels.

The album’s four-track prologue segues right into “Never Catch Me,” featuring Kendrick Lamar. Having recently caught his Saturday Night Live performance, the Internet’s rapper (sorry Childish Gambino) has a smooth delivery that complements the aforementioned tone. Electric guitar and a slight piano riff back Lamar’s violent vocals. It’s a compelling song that connects jazz, R&B, and hip hop in a way that you don’t get hear too often. “Never Catch Me” serves well as the album’s focal point.

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Quite honestly if the album ended here it would be worth the price of admission. However, it does go on but not quite reaching the previous heights. About a third of the album has vocals with distinct lyrics – the rest is a trip through the sonic atmospheres that Ellison has created. “Tesla” and “The Protest” are the tracks that stood out to me if you’re forcing me to pick a couple, but this is a true album that deserves to be listened to front to back.

For fans of jazz and/or hip hop, Flying Lotus has made an interesting but accessible album. I never felt lost or out of my depth even though I’m not as well-versed in the genres as Ellison obviously is. Even if these genres aren’t your thing, if you’re willing to try something new You’re Dead! is a great way to broaden your horizons.

Key Tracks: “Never Catch Me,” “Tesla,” “The Protest”

Artists With Similar Fire: Thundercat / Death Grips / Caribou



Flying Lotus Website
Flying Lotus Facebook
Warp Records

-Reviewed by Matthew Heiner

Matthew Heiner

Matthew Heiner

I appreciate being able to write for The Fire Note, as it gives me an excuse to keep up with what's happening in new music.

By day I am a dad and a psychologist; I often use music as a way to connect with both my kids and my clients. One of my proudest moments as a father was when my 12-year-old daughter told me of her undying love for Radiohead.
Matthew Heiner

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Author: Matthew Heiner

I appreciate being able to write for The Fire Note, as it gives me an excuse to keep up with what's happening in new music. By day I am a dad and a psychologist; I often use music as a way to connect with both my kids and my clients. One of my proudest moments as a father was when my 12-year-old daughter told me of her undying love for Radiohead.

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