Flying Lotus makes you question what music is, and not in an Ed Sheeran way. Who knew you could take a wall of noise, jump straight into a jazz solo, then bring in the best rap verse of the year from Kendrick Lamar – all in the opening seven minutes of an album?
And yet it’s coherent: Steven Ellison, nephew of the jazz pianist Alice Coltrane, is on to his fifth album now, and each one is more focused and grand than the last.
At 38 minutes, and with 19 tracks, the record flies by as one track fades into the next; like jazz movements rather than traditional verse-chorus-verse songs.
This time, as the title may suggest, he explores death, but never in a morbid way.
Flylo brings in the best elements from his previous works – the gorgeous strings from Cosmogramma, the soothing electronics from Until the Quiet Comes, and the hip-hop influences from his rapper alter-ego, Captain Murphy.
You’re Dead! is chaotic, melancholic, soothing and bewildering all at once, and is Flylo’s most accomplished and impressive work to date.
This is what death sounds like, and it’s beautiful.
[Ally Shaw – @radalias]