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Flying Lotus – You’re Dead

November 24, 2014

Flying Lotus

Sometimes you need to buy an LP just because the cover art is great (e.g. Miles Davis Bitches Brew).  I had heard nothing but good things about Flying Lotus (but I had never really checked him out) and he had some intriguing pedigree: nephew of Alice and John Coltrane.  I gave this a quick listen on Spotify and I liked the 70s jazz rock/prog rock feel of the album.

When I saw the LP on display at the Electric Fetus it looked so cool I could not help myself.  Invested I now gave it a serious listen and I was sold.

Side one is short and would not be out-of-place on a Return to Forever or Mahavishnu Orchestra side from the late 70s.

Side two has a more conventional hip hop feel – with songs rapped by Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg, but is still has that great 70s jazz rock/prog rock vibe.  It also has a bit of a CTI soul jazz vibe at times.

Side three has a Pink Floyd meets Radiohead sound.

Side four has the most experimental feel and ties it all together.

As a side note (no pun intended), why a 40 minute LP has to be spread across two LPs is a bit annoying (especially when sides 0ne and two are so short).  But I have to admit this is one of the best sounding new LPs – so maybe not squeezing everything on two sides is worth getting out of my chair three times to flip the album. Each side does have its own sound and are mini suites.

In summary this is an outstanding and adventurous  album.  If you are a fan of 70s jazz rock, prog rock or soul jazz check this out and don’t be dissuaded by Flying Lotus typically being filed under hip hop.  The album is very cinematic and I would love to see this live with a kick ass light show.  There are some great players on the LP – of special note are:  Thundercat on, bass, Kamasi Washington on sax, the great Herbie Hancock on keys and Flying Lotus himself on a variety of instruments.  As I noted at the top, this album has a great cover (and a great gatefold and sleeves).  It is so nice to see musicians taking the care to create the full LP experience.

 

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