Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! // Community Review


Flying LotusYou’re Dead! //

The Bam Team quick reviews Flying Lotus‘ fifth full-length record, You’re Dead!, released by Warp.

Leave your own quick review in the comments below for a chance to win two tickets to one of our SF Shows of the Week

The author of our favorite quick review will win a pair of tickets to their choice of show (options below). Read the BAM Team’s reviews of Flying Lotus’ latest, and contact us if you’re interested in writing for Showbams.


The rapidly-reaching-prolific producer, Stephen Ellison, popularly known to us as Flying Lotus, dropped one jazzed-out slice of off-kilter beat science in our laps the past week in the form of You’re Dead! First off, this release, even style of music, is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but once you embrace the janky beauty infused into the release, there is a trove of rewards as you get sucked a little further down the rabbit hole. We see Thundercat, Niki Randa and Kendrick Lamar aid FlyLo; the latter lending his supreme talent to standout track “Never Catch Me”. There’s a slight disjunct feel to the whole album as it stylistically bounces around both time and space. -Kevin Quandt
3.5 BAMS // Top Track: “Never Catch Me” (Featuring Kendrick Lamar)

The guitars are grimy, the beats spastic, the samples supremely random and Snoop Dogg shows up to drop a semi-vintage verse. To say You’re Dead! by Flying Lotus is all over the place is the understatement of the year, but it would be a mistake to label Lotus’ dazzlingly-layered, jazz-groove opus as a mess. It’s actually kind of a banger, in a perfectly Flying Lotus way.

Pulling infinitely different tempos, genres and instrumentation together in truly unique ways to create music that challenges the listener in ways that few producers do. On You’re Dead! he ups the jazz influence (especially drums and bass) to create an album that has vintage flair but New Age touches.

The obvious highlight of the album is “Never Catch Me” featuring Kendrick Lamar, who destroys the track as has become the norm for the Compton native, stepping to the mic with his usual ferocity and bravado. Lamar can do no wrong right now, and he soars perfectly with this Flying Lotus track.

The album flows from short interludes to full-fledged songs and at 19 tracks, feels a bit bloated towards its end. But there is enough variation and interesting twists and turns throughout the way to make it worth repeated listens. -Dale Johnson
4 BAMS // Top Track: “Never Catch Me” (Featuring Kendrick Lamar)

Flying Lotus captures all of his alter egos on You’re Dead!, locks them in a cage (his brain) and feeds them healthy doses of Adderall and jazz. His influences are all over the musical spectrum, paying homage to his Coltrane roots and animated hip-hop misfits like Quasimodo (aka Madlib) and MF Doom. The album exists in a cartoon dimension with short, mostly instrumental songs that are intangible, yet keep the listener clinching on to the subtle beauties that fade away within seconds. It’s strange, uncomfortable, edgy and breaks the mold of everything that is safe in hip-hop, or music in general. Thank goodness for artists like Flying Lotus that keep it weird. -Anthony Presti
3.5 BAMS // Top Track: “Never Catch Me” (Featuring Kendrick Lamar)

Leave your own quick review below as a comment. Write no more than five sentences, give your own BAM Ranking and pick your top song. If you’d like to win two tickets to one of these shows, simply write the name of the show you’d like to win under your review.

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  1. On Flying Lotus’s latest record You’re Dead, the Los Angeles producer forgoes the acid Kool-Aide test for a cyanide Kool-Aide dive straight into a fourth dimensional confrontation with the afterlife. Death has been no stranger to the electronic producer’s music, with past albums being pixilated with samples of his mother’s life support system’s beeps and musings on the afterlife and soul. You’re Dead masterfully trips through the journey of the soul into the next episode with sun-scorched psychedlia, 8-bit snapshots of g-funk, and gorgeously redemptive jazz. The cold transition between the frantic jazz freak out of the Kendrick Lamar featuring “Never Catch Me” and the cooled-out west coast bounce of Snoop Dogg and Fly Lo alter-ego Captain Murphy’s “Dead Man’s Tetris”highlights the producer’s prolific ability to craft varying hip hop textures. Fly Lo fully buries his new album’s death aesthetic through ecstatic, freeform layers of acid jazz and sprawling EDM planes of sound.
    4 BAMS // Top Track: “Dead Man’s Tetris” (Featuring Captain Murphy & Snoop Dogg) -John Venanzi

    Christopher Owens would be rad 🙂

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