Cosmogramma - Flying Lotus
Cosmogramma Image

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 90 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Thom York, Ravi Coltrane, and Laura Darlington appears as a guests on the experimental producer/artist's third full-length album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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").
  5. 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.
  6. Dense and obtuse it may be but those who follow this most intense sonic explorer will be rewarded the greatest.
  7. There's some info overload, but Ellison is an ace with pacing, and a distracted soulfulness guides the frantic laptop science.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

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, 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. Expand
  2. Apr 10, 2013
    A brilliant work, takes you on a miniature journey. Excellent to listen to with headphones. Not a dull moment, completely engrossing all the way through. Expand
  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 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. Expand
  4. Jun 18, 2013
    A great blend of sound, and an incredibly consistent album. Every song stands out in one way or another, and the sounds are varied and perfectly put together. Expand
  5. Jul 19, 2013
    While Los Angeles has its roots still sample based Hip-Hop, had dashes of Trip-Hop and Electronica, Cosmogramma goes beyond the far reaches of any boxed genre I can think of. The closest I can relate it to is avant garde jazz w/ some futuristic head nodding space grooves. A feeble attempt at classifying something that could very well be a considered a new genre. I know it's been said before about some of his work, but now so more than ever does FlyLo make that argument legit.

    What I'm not struggling with is the pure genius that bleeds through the speakers in many of the small moments. The first couple of tracks didn't leave a huge impression on me, but as with the last LP, helps set the stage for stronger cuts like "A Comic Drama" and "Zodiac S*!!". Both are your "typical" solid FlyLo tracks. At that point the album could have coasted and probably still have been a solid 3rd album effort... but all of a sudden we get the intense build of "Computer Face//Pure Being" kicking it up notches beyond dope. The Nintendo generation will have shades of "Mega Man" esq loops interlaced and woven all throughout the track. Never missing a beat from thereon out, the album is loaded with those "holy s$!!" moments of musical ecstasy and you find yourself lost. From the head jerking "Recoiled", the interlocking drums on "Arkestry" to the woozy groove and lush strings of "Do the Astral Plane"; I find myself torn: drawn to each song in its own right and yet never fully being able to commit to a strong favorite above the rest. The sublime "German Haircut" is another blessing w/ Ravi Coltrane providing smooth Tenor Sax to the mix. Heavy synths and keys on "Dance of the Pseudo Nymph" require as much deep concentration as it does a mandatory nod of the skull. All the way up until "Galaxy in Janaki" (which also stands out as an epic symphonic conclusion to the performance) this piece of music captivates your attention and commands your eardrum. I will say that the vocal performances to me are not as tight as on LA, but it's only due to the production simply overwhelming them here. I find myself clinging to the harps, strings; yes... the table tennis match becomes more consuming than the return collaboration of Laura Darlington and the agility of Thundercat's bass guitar as apposed to his vocal contributions. Even the welcome appearance of Yorke seems to serve its purpose as better exposure for FlyLo as apposed to actually adding the significant value you would think. Not to say that these players don't bring anything to the table. They are merely servants to FlyLo's bag of tricks, rightfully never able to wrestle the beat away from his control. He creates a beautiful canvas of sound that seamlessly moves from neck breaking to deeply satisfying grooves. Before you know it, you're constantly skipping back to pick out your favorite moments, only to vanish again in the overall flow of the album. Call it blasphemy, but Cosmogramma gives me the same feelings I got when I first heard Endtroducing... back in late '97; an album where I'm still trying to peel back all the layers even today.

    Years later there is plenty I need to digest here and I continue to love this album as they go by. Those wanting more of the same FlyLo might find their boundaries being pushed forward into unexpected realms of musical imagination. As a fresh purchase this deserves high praise, but experiencing its long term effects will produce the most enjoyment... every time i pick it up again it has me in strangle hold almost impossible to break from.
  6. Jun 26, 2013
    So effing dope, FlyLo delivers such delicious agressive beats, stomping on top of quivering synths... a euphoric sound- I could never get sick of this album. Expand
  7. 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, all happening within seconds of each other. Sometimes it works, but for the most part it's a mess not worth picking up. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. The Best Albums of 2010

    The Best Albums of 2010 Image
    Published: January 11, 2011
    Spoiler alert: Kanye West had the best-reviewed album of 2010. But which other releases impressed critics last year? We run down the 40 highest-scoring albums, and also examine the best releases of the year in various categories.
  2. May's Best New Music

    May's Best New Music Image
    Published: May 25, 2010
    What made our list of the best-reviewed albums from the past month? The debut LP from Janelle Mon