Track Review: The Flaming Lips ft. Miley Cyrus, ‘We a Famly’
The Flaming Lips tap Miley Cyrus for the assist on “We a Famly,” the fourth single from Oczy Mlody.
Experimental rock band The Flaming Lips don’t sell particularly well. Did they ever? The answer is a resounding no. To date, the RIAA has certified just one TFL album: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot. Regardless, the band is prolific, continuing to push boundaries musically. After a two-year hiatus – With a Little Help From my Fwends, released in late 2014 – TFL return with new album, Oczy Mlody. Ahead of Oczy Mlody, the band issued four singles: “How??”, “Sunrise (Eyes of the Young),” “The Castle,” and “We a Famly,” featuring Miley Cyrus.
Before deeply analyzing “We a Famly”, check out how The Flaming Lip spell the title. The titular lyric is reiterated throughout the chorus. The record opens with loopy synths that sound as if they were taken straight out of a video game. These solidify the psychedelic rock, cementing the 60s-throwback vibe. Ultimately, “Famly” uses an excellent blend of the arpeggiated synths with gritty guitar (and synths) and pummeling drums.
Coyne’s voice is fantastic here, sounding clearer compared to other singles. Following the core of verse one, some of the clarity fades. The vocal effects are kicked up a notch – or three… Even sacrificing the clarity, the use of effects adds additional contrast.
The chorus lacks depth, but is catchy:
“We a family, we a family, we a family…”
Miley Cyrus adds her distinctive pipes on the second verse. This serves as an excellent addition to this weird song:
“It’s been a long hot summer / I miss you, it’s a bummer, yeah / We both travelin’ / You’re somewhere south of Wichita…”
Like all The Flaming Lips songs, this one is distinct, even if it sacrifices itself a bit for the sake of pop. Nonetheless, “We a Famly” is incredibly interesting.