If secretly, in a hidden corner of your psyche kept secretly secreted just for you, you quietly suspect that that man that young master Zimmerman riles against with such savage enthusiasm on the first of those three extraordinary albums from 1966 is staring back at you from that mirror. And that somehow, inexplicably, you’ve morphed into Jones, Mister, then this is the album to display so loudly and with such pride at the head of your playlist.
In his guise as Flying Lotus Steven Ellison is the man responsible for keeping U2 and Radiohead awake at night as they toss and turn in their tortured desire to stay relevant. Thom Yorke was actually a guest vocalist on Flylo’s – as he’s inevitably been dubbed – last couple of albums, the breakthrough Cosmogramma from 2010 and Until the Quiet Comes in 2012, reviewed earlier here.
You’re Dead! is his fifth album, and it’s effortlessly, dazzlingly relevant, and almost casually if triumphantly current. Nominally a concept album, it’s as much an exploration of the texture and feel of sounds as it is of the idea and reality of death.
That exclamation mark, so often so irritatingly redundant, here hits the nail on the head, as they point out on their review on Pitchfork here, where it gets an 8.3.
The album manages to be at once light and airy, and yet clearly contemplative as it considers and ponders the inevitable. The art work perfectly captures that lightheavy, trippy dippy sense of happy resignation propelled and punctuated by the rhythms and tensions of 21st century hip hop.
Ellison is quite simply the man, and this my friend is where it’s at. You can see the video for Never Catch Me featuring Kendrick Lamar here.
Sign up for a subscription right or below, and I shall keep you posted every week on All the Very Best and Worst in Film, Television and Music!