When talking about The Flaming Lips, one term that you can't use at any point is "normal," unless you're argument is "they aren't normal." The psychedelic rock band has delivered yet another eclectic record with their 14th album Oczy Mlody, and its positives are pretty well-weighed with its negatives.
The album begins on a jagged note with title track 'Oczy Mlody.' The rickety soundscapes contrast the smooth synths playing in the background, but there isn't much to comment on it otherwise. Many of the albums more rugged numbers aren't the best. 'Galaxy I Sink' is another example of an odd song, and while it does have a less rough surface, the song just doesn't develop into anything, remaining as that weird song with the contrasting textures.
Oczy Mlody's more sober moments show a lot more clarity. 'One Night While Hunting For Faeries and Witches and Wizards To Kill' may seem like a pretty drugged up track from the title alone, but the song's execution offers up quite the opposite. Perhaps a drug trip into something that'll take you out of your mind, this track is largely modest and calming, smoothly transitioning into different sections and introducing new elements into the song to make it pretty expansive. 'Listening To The Frogs With Demon Eyes' finds itself in much the same scenario. The western rock guitars sound groovily underneath the track's ambiance, the mysterious sounds of the song making it all the more haunting as vocalist Wayne Coyne croons gently.
That element of experimentation feels lost on most of the rest of the record, sadly. There are great moments, like the optimistic dark and captivating vibes of 'Sunrise (Eyes Of The Young)' that do give the record some credit, but there's also a lot of subpar tracks that do drag it down. The lyrics of this album really go all over the place: 'How??' has a great instrumental that is tarnished by "White trash rednecks, earthworms eat the ground / Legalize it, every drug right now," and the same scenario plays through in 'Do Glowy' which proudly exclaims "Dewy, dewy, dew / Let's get together, yeah / Drip, drip, drippy glow."
There are times where the record just becomes downright boring, too. It really feels like the album begins dragging on by the end. 'The Castle' is a slow moving track that doesn't have enough momentum on either end of the track that can justify its slow and quiet vibe. The synth intro of 'Almost Home (Blisko Domu)' provides a very refreshing sense of urgency and mood to the backend of the record, but ultimately becomes this weird, cavernous synth track led by a pseudo-hip-hop beat. The warm electronic synths of 'We A Famly' featuring Miley Cyrus also provided one last glimmer of hope for some more energy, and while this song is largely more refreshing and warm than a lot of the rest of the record, even Miley couldn't save this album from the hole it dug itself. It's a nice end, but the rest of the album just didn't give it what it needed to be a great ending.
Oczy Mlody is an album that stays true to The Flaming Lips' weirdness, but is largely inconsistent and unfulfilling between its tracklist. There are many gaps looking to be filled and too little to offer up to really give this album what it needs. It doesn't feel like a bad album; just a misguided one.
Favorite Tracks: One Night While Hunting For Faeries and Witches and Wizards To Kill, Listening To The Frogs With The Demon Eyes, We A Famly
Least Favorite Tracks: How??, Galaxy I Sink, Do Glowy
Rating: 64 / 100
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