More Heady Nuggs

My favorite all-time odd band is back. The Flaming Lips help us kick off 2017 with their latest album “Oczy Mlody” (no, I’m not sure how to pronounce that either).

The Flaming Lips have entered their third stage as band in the last few years. Their previous full length release “The Terror” saw a departure from the usual positive and optimistic themes in favor of a never before explored emotion from the band: negativity and realism.

“The Terror” also kicked off what I referred to¬†as the third stage as it showed an evolution of the band’s sound. While previous releases like 2009’s “Embryonic” and their fantastic 2006 release “At War With the Mystics” were layered with heavy distortion and white noise, “Oczy Mlody” is more atmospheric and broad with it’s sounds and electronics. Lead singer Wayne Coyne’s vocals, as unique as always, remains calm and subdued like in previous releases, however the accompanying music actually matches the calmness throughout most of the album. Something that long-time Lips fans haven’t seen since the 1990’s.

“Oczy Mlody” is the first Flaming Lips album in a very long time that you can just sit back and relax to or enjoy on an early morning drive without wanting to get too hyped up. Often times throughout the album it feels like they took influence from Tycho and even Daft Punk’s “Tron” soundtrack, and mixed in their own unique blend of oddball characteristics. The whole album actually feels like a nod to the psychedelic movement of music in the 1960’s with a modern day electronic twist. It’s pretty rad if you ask me.

I honestly feel like this is an album that virtually everyone can enjoy. Be you a long-time fan of the band or new to their music, I believe “Oczy Mlody” is a fantastic introductory album to the Flaming Lips that will inspire newcomers and critics alike to consider visiting the band’s previous works.

“Oczy Mlody” is available digitally and in stores now, so do yourself a favor and check out the first major release of 2017.

2016: A Year in Review

 Well, we’ve survived the first week of 2017. As mentioned in my previous post, I’ll be maintaining an optimistic outlook for this year. 

 Besides we do have a lot to look forward to, like new music from AFI, The Flaming Lips, The Wrens, and more.

 Before that happens, however, I’d like to share my favorite albums that were released in during the train wreck that was 2016.

Tiger Army “V”

 Let me start off by saying that I love Tiger Army. I actually got to see them for my birthday last year prior to this album being released, and I’ll be seeing them again in a few months at the same venue. I enjoyed this album from start to finish, and it fit perfectly in line with Tiger Army’s previous releases without sounding like the same thing over and over. 

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down “A Man Alive”

 This album was, without question, my absolute favorite Indie release last year. The music was a wonderful and ecclectic bend of indie rock, hip-hop, and alternative. This coupled well with Thao Ngyuen’s vocal styling, and made for a really solid album.

Iggy Pop with Josh Homme “Post-Pop Depression”

 As my readers my recall, I raved about this album in my review. I thought it was excellent. It’s a wonderful follow-up to Pop’s “The Idiot” with perfect influence from Josh Homme. I still have this album in regular rotation, and I play my vinyl copy (hipster chic, I know) for my friends. 

A Tribe Called Quest “We Got it From Here…Thank You for Your Service”

 Eighteen years after their last album release, and A Tribe Called Quest prove that they’re still very much a force to be reckoned with in the Hip-Hop/Rap community. The album touches on current social events, and pays tribute to the late Phife Dawg. Featuring guest appearances from Busta Rhymes and even Elton John, “We Got it From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service” is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favorite albums of its genre. 

 Blink 182 “California”

 The first Blink 182 album without Tom DeLonge, and it’s far superior to the previous release “Neighborhoods” in almost every way. Mark Hoppis and Travis Barker recruited Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba to fill in for DeLonge on guitar and vocals, and it worked wonderfully. While the album did touch on serious subjects, it kept a sense of lightheartedness we use to see in earlier Blink releases. There is even a brief joke track called “Built This Pool,” whose lyrics I won’t post in an attempt to keep this post family friendly. 

Descendant “Hypercaffium Spazzinate”

 Milo Aukerman and crew touch on how getting older sucks and lay on the classic self-depreciation on their return to Epitaph Records album release. “Hypercaffium Spazzinate” (which is far easier to write than say) maintains the classic Deacendants sound and sense of humor while reminding us that they are very much a classic punk band. 

David Bowie “Blackstar”

 By now, my readers are probably getting real sick and tired of my constant rants about how awesome Bowie was. I don’t apologize for that. The man was a legend, and his music was very influential in my life. He left this earth with one final masterpiece, “Blackstar,” and it was a wonderful, insightful, and imaginiatve work of art. The imagery that coincided in the music videos like “Lazerus” were surreal and chilling, and just goes to show how insanely gifted and talented he was. 

 Well, there you have it. My personal favorite album releases of 2016. I’d love to hear what yours were! Comment your favorites below, and be sure to follow @TheMusicJunkie8 on Twitter