Since The Terror, The Flaming Lips have been on a strange path, even for themselves. Going from gaining grandiose status as experimental-rock gods with a cult following, to turning over to a darker noisier sound, and teaming up with Miley Cyrus. Oczy Mlody is another release in this transitional era of the band, but is a fresh step overall for The Flaming Lips, and another positive addition in their extensive repertoire. The album’s superior characteristic is the production quality with an attention to detail of even the most infinitesimal sonic attributes, but the lyrical content is lacking. In comparison to the rest of their work, Oczy Mlody rides along in the middle, not their worst and by no means is it up there with The Soft Bulletin.
“White trash red-necks, earth-worms eat the ground. Legalize it, every drug right now. . .” are the opening lyrics of the first vocal track, “How??” Nonsensical, which is not out of character for The Flaming Lips, but very sub-par for their lyrical abilities. Besides that, the track is a great listen as far as layering, structure, and melody. “There Should Be Unicorns” is another track that, again, lyrically seems like they were attempting to paint imagery on the spot, but the music itself is outstanding. It features a monologue from Reggie Watts where he does his standard silly play with words, and it coincides with the rest of the song, but he wraps it up with one of his mind-bending cosmic rants.
“The Galaxy I Sink” is a smooth blend of the old with new, the lighter and darker essences of The Flaming Lips coming together to create a hypnotically dark nursery rhyme. It is a mixture of clean sounds, layers of starry synthetics, and builds into a symphony that raises the operatic quality of the album to be in balance with the rest of the dynamics. “Listening To The Frogs With Demon Eyes” has an ambient backbone and a minimalistic IDM composition. A strong throwback sound, and the psychedelic vocalization make the lyrics appear more intimate than the rest.
Lyrics and status aside, Oczy Mlody combines the old with the new, and has repaved a path of growth for The Flaming Lips. Wayne Coyne said that the instrument that they play is the recording studio, and that is exactly what is heard throughout this album. Like the others, Oczy Mlody exceeds on the attention to detail and produces intricate sounds and layers at such a level it can be considered an art in and of itself. A great listen if you have been waiting for a revival of the elements from the years surrounding The Soft Bulletin, and remained a fan post-Embryonic years.