Tyler the Creator - IGOR

Tyler the Creator

The easy thing with rappers turned auteurs is to write them off as nonsense. A rapper can't create a record that is rich, varied and explorative because they are just rappers right? Well that idea has been all but shattered in 2019 where the majority of the creativity is no longer coming from rock, but from rap. That is where this new album from Tyler the Creator lands. It is more of a Kanye West inspired R&B/Rap hybrid bop than it is like anything else He has done before. Tyler was always been the weirder one of the whole bunch, his work always featuring some twinge of strange sounds or ideas. But this record is different in it's sweetness. Tyler usually has a bad attitude in his songs, almost to an annoying point. However on IGOR He seems happy, and possibly in love. There are still tracks that are cutting and aggressive like "NEW MAGIC WAND" but it's the music that portrays that vibe rather than Tyler's words. "PUPPET" features the aforementioned Knaye West in one of his most WTF features to date. He just sort of sings horribly and is relinquished to the background to drone away incoherently. It's one of the times where Kanye is just way to Kanye-y and can't focus to put something incredible out. Tyler however doesn't let that bother him, or try to make the feature more than it is, a bump in the road on an otherwise pretty great album.

The thing that really strikes you about this record is just how wide open it feels. There really is never a moment where you think you've got this album dialed in or pinned down. "GONE, GONE / THANK YOU" is a great example of this as it stretches and extends out over six minutes. R&B remains at the core of almost everything here, but from there it turns into all out electronic experimentation. "ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?" is one of the most straightforward R&B tracks, but it's Tyler's absolutely fun lyrics that give the song a soaring quality. The big scuttlebutt about this record is that after basically coming out, Tyler is for the first time writing from a gay man's perspective. The thing is though, none of that really comes across. It just sounds like love songs regardless of the intended gender. It's just a lovely album with some real interesting and cutting moments. It is experimental without jumping off a cliff and edgy enough to not feel like more of the same. IGOR is a super solid record with a hell of a lot to like, get into it.

8.3 out of 10


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