You see, no one likes talking about death.
But Flying Lotus has never been one to lead the people on a simple journey.
With You’re Dead! he has managed to create a shamanic pilgrimage into the psychedelic unknown of the infinite afterlife. At once reflective, restless, heart wrenching and joyous, this is a melodic ode to those who have died young, suddenly and unexpectedly – those who have passed away into another realm completely - while also existing as a comfort to those mourning the loss of a loved one, those left behind in our here and now. You’re Dead! serves as an exploration, a eulogy and a portal between these parallel domains.
“My perspective comes from having lost a lot of people. A lot of my family members passed, but a lot of my colleagues passed away too soon,” says Flying Lotus. “I felt like in my own experiences, I wanted them to have this same sense of self.”
Musically, the album treats death as a transition from one experience to another, from one dimension of sound to another. Masterfully, Flying Lotus bathes death in the sensitive, affectionate light of a storyteller.
Flying Lotus takes listeners on a consciousness-fracturing journey as they follow those who’ve passed away as they embark on their tender new existences “on the other side.” This life in the new dimension is rife with excitement, adjustments and reconciliation for some who are struggling to make sense of how they got to the other side in the first place.
“The album isn’t about the end,” says Flying Lotus. “It’s really the beginning. It’s the beginning of a new experience,” he says. “It’s not hey you’re dead,” he says somberly. “It’s hey you’re dead!” he says with an uptick of enthusiasm. “To me it’s a celebration of the next experience. Also, it’s the transition and the confusion,” he adds.
You’re Dead! is a hefty undertaking, but Flying Lotus aptly creates an engaging sonic delight, part spiritual carnival, part melancholic symphony, all the while coaxing listeners out of their fears of the unknown – and sometimes indulging those same fears. This aural procession through the afterlife does not trade on our clichéd catalog of pop-culture references to extinction. You won’t find grim reaper-referencing rote drama, or the pallid somber palette of reverential muzak. This is a sonic, visual and metaphysical fusion of technological innovation and technical virtuosity that amounts to a transcendent, mind-expanding plasm that could only exists between our world and another.