Cosmogramma - Flying Lotus

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Cosmogramma is an instrumental genre-jumping journey for head-bopping intellectuals, and the meditative melodies by vocalists Thundercat, Laura Darlington and Thom Yorke only add to the experience.
  2. Flying Lotus, much like Yorke, Greenwood & Co., has made a definitive summary of a decade's worth of advances in electronic music, a release that transcends genre and deserves to become a glorified phenomena by those who experience it.
  3. Cosmogramma is an intricate, challenging record that fuses his loves-- jazz, hip-hop, videogame sounds, IDM-- into something unique. It's an album in the truest sense.
  4. 80
    Woozy, off-track beats blend with video game blips and organic strings, harp and sax, while a cameo from Thom Yorke is woven neatly into this lush, psychedelic fabric. [Jun 2010, p.86]
  5. Fans of experimetal electronica will be [happy], though Radiohead devotees should exercise caution. [Jun 2010, p.124]
  6. There's some info overload, but Ellison is an ace with pacing, and a distracted soulfulness guides the frantic laptop science.
  7. Picking us up where the laptop prof's 'Los Angeles' debut dropped us for another nocturnal journey through LA that serves as a moody, widescreen, be-bopping riposte to UK dubstep. Only this time it's a flashier ride.
  8. Cosmogramma is futuristic magnum opus that will indubitably be heralded as one of th emost intrepid albums of 2010. [Spring 2010, p.74]
  9. Flying Lotus reaches into the past in order to create something clearly of the future – a hybridized work that challenges others to follow its dazzling blueprint.
  10. Proclamations of his greatness may be slightly exaggerated, but Cosmogramma certainly adds to a deservedly growing reputation.
  11. Cosmogramma is dense and devotional, Ellison piloting his craft into the fading slipstream of his aunt Alice Coltrane's cosmic strain of jazz. Not that it's jazz, exactly. Well, no more than it is techno, dubstep, chiptune, P-funk, IDM and, by no means least, hip-hop.
  12. 80
    Warm and inviting, his latest opus occasions swan dives into future soul, funky dubstep ("Dance of the Pseudo Nymph"), Theo Parrish–styled house ("Do the Astral Plane"), and astonishingly, Sun Ra jazz ("Arkestry").
  13. Add in a dabbling in the spirit of free jazz and one might expect this album to be a wilfully discordant aural trial. But it turns out to be quite the opposite. The parts may be disparate but they are made to submit to an abiding mood of vivacity and sunniness.
  14. Cosmogramma is futurist in form, rather than content. Reliving the future's past through a constellation of references to cosmic jazz, psychedelic funk, hip-hop, and techno, the music of Flying Lotus never fixates long enough to crystallize; any groove that spontaneously emerges is quickly subverted, churned up in favor of a creating new maps and new vectors.
  15. On Cosmogramma, this never-ending stream of aural textures sounds effortless, and the enthralling swirl of jazz, drum 'n' bass, dubstep and hip-hop beckons you toward the edge of something damn near cosmic.
  16. The surprising achievement of Cosmogramma is how capably it reinterprets that kind of innately communal vibe into private introspection without losing a bit of its energy along the way.
  17. Yet, even though the steady presence of featured performances helps beautify Cosmogramma, this is essentially Ellison's crowning achievement. The album is sequenced with a sense of purpose, evidential from the promo being presented as a long continuous track.
  18. At first, it sounds a bit of a mess, and takes serious patience to unpack. But its catchiness does emerge with time, and it cements Ellison's position as one of the few genuinely unpredictable artists at work.
  19. Because in constantly mutating just when you begin to pin it down, drawing everything around in before rearranging atoms before your very eyes, Cosmogramma proves itself time and time again as mind-meltingly boundless as a black hole.
  20. Cosmogramma bursts with inventiveness; I've found myself careening around my apartment to sounds I don't recognize as of this Earth. That Lotus takes these vibrant ideas and sets them to pulses that move asses is incredible. Apparently everyone else is bouncing along in agreement.
  21. Time will tell if "Cosmogramma" is the most definitive moment of his career, but at this point it seems the realm of electronic music is open for Flying Lotus to be the next big visionary of his genre.
  22. Flying Lotus has made the strongest album to date with his amazing collection of sounds, beats and instruments; as good as you felt after hearing the sheer brilliance of "Los Angeles."
  23. Dense and obtuse it may be but those who follow this most intense sonic explorer will be rewarded the greatest.
  24. Cosmogramma is decidedly more, uh, cosmic, than his 2008 "Los Angeles," in its atmospheric spiral away from the beat and toward a more free-flowing collage of instrumentation.
  25. Cosmogramma may evade complete comprehension, but Flying Lotus' foreign and colorful arrangements entice even the most casual listener.
  26. Part of its delight is how naturally the disparate parts fit together, but another part is how they add up to phantasmagoria if you let your attention wander (and don't be a tight-ass‑-you should).
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Oct 6, 2012
    The best electronic album since Untrue. FlyLo blends a number of different styles together very effectively to create a unique, immersiveThe best electronic album since Untrue. FlyLo blends a number of different styles together very effectively to create a unique, immersive soundscape. This album seizes your brain and doesn't let go for 45 minutes of pure awesomeness, leaving you a more complete, enlightened person than you were before. There's so much to discover on this album, and it only continues to sound better every time I listen to it. Even if you're not really into electronic music, you should check this out. It's unique, progressive, and incredibly fun. Full Review »
  2. j30
    Dec 6, 2011
    Sensory overload is how I'd describe this record from the California based producer Steven Ellison. There are certainly highs and lows, allSensory overload is how I'd describe this record from the California based producer Steven Ellison. There are certainly highs and lows, all happening within seconds of each other. Sometimes it works, but for the most part it's a mess not worth picking up. Full Review »
  3. Nov 5, 2013
    Flying Lotus's music is quite off the wall and many can only scratch their heads when they listen to his second album Cosmogramma. So whyFlying Lotus's music is quite off the wall and many can only scratch their heads when they listen to his second album Cosmogramma. So why does flylo conduct this strange, experimental, mishmash of styles? What makes flylo so easy for me to appreciate is the fact that no matter what, he will stick to the type of music he wants to do. He could make an entertaining dubstep album, a ground breaking hip hop collaboration, or even an experimental hip hop album. Similar to most great musicians, the music he makes is the center of his life. He has said that his music is his escape and it is what makes him feel like a kid again. He is also a fan of cartoons growing up watching adult swim and that same cartoon-ish aesthetic is the backbone of Cosmogramma. The Flying Lotus project is abstract and strange and I have seen that this album is not for everybody. This album bounces around constantly and is unsettling, but the constant energy is what makes this album such undeniable beauty. I treat this album as a concept album at times and I do believe that it does have a concept to it. Cosmogramma can mean many things and the listener has to use their imagination to figure out what it means. The first few words are "i have this world but nobody would believe me if I said it exists." Later in the album in his song with Thom Yorke, Yorke sings, "I need to know you're out there just need to know you're out there somewhere...and the world laughs with you." To me, this represents the experience of being shut up by the world. Towards the end of the album there is a metaphor using table tennis to relate the feeling of being rebounded and powered by a certain force. Cosmogramma represents the experience of life with being an upbeat and joyful kid, marveling at life and beauty then growing up and losing all of the innocence and happiness then finding passion, sex, social interactions, and being overwhelmed by a higher figure. There is not much else I can say about this album. It is simply pure overwhelming beauty. Full Review »