Released 17th May 2019
Favourite track: IGOR’S THEME
You’ve entered a quirky world of dancing machines jamming to 80s synths and RnB beats with Tyler, The Creator as a DJ sending us all through time warped channels where he expresses his power but also his vulnerability in artistic fragments.
Tyler, The Creator is an Alternative Rap artist I’m familiar with through his popular 2017 album, Flower Boy, but this release has made me appreciate the art of his music. He really owns the word ‘create’ because the album is just so well-made. The cover artwork to me is striking as it’s simplistic with a light pink background and a shot of his face pasted on top. His expression is a kind of confused as he’s staring at something unknown either disgusted by what he sees or trying to work it out. It’s pretty experimental and suits the audio of the album.
All I can say is WOW the beats are absolutely crazy and the synths/vocal ad-libs are so interesting. ‘IGOR’S THEME’ is a strong opening to this album, especially towards the end where the music just builds into this super cool synth and beat mix. I really like the vocal work on the album because it’s kind of a mixture of 90s RnB love-song feels accompanied by 80s synths and modern day Hip-Hop. The thing about many of Tyler, The Creator’s songs (such as ‘I THINK’ and ‘GONE, GONE / THANK YOU’) is that he keeps playing around with the sound in the middle of the song. He will stop and re-start with a new vibe or a continuation of the old one that has gone through some changes which I love because it means I can never get bored. I don’t want to skip the song because he’s just going to go and add something that I don’t want to miss.
One of my favourite interruptions of the album which kind of defines the purpose of the songs is ‘EXACTLY WHAT YOU RUN FROM YOU END UP CHASING’ which is essentially a 14 second clip telling us that we can’t avoid chasing things we are trying to run from and that there is always “an obstacle” with this word being cut off by the next song ‘RUNNING OUT OF TIME’ which is a clever touch. The vocals in each song try to tell you a message in fragments amidst some of the most intense sounding music.
Honestly listening to this album is an experience because it’s very powerful but then vulnerable in others which is what draws me to it. There’s attack to it with the heavy bass line and the beats mixed with the EDM style synths like in ‘NEW MAGIC WAND’ but then it draws right back to sampled vocals. But the highlight of this album for me is his song ‘A BOY IS A GUN*’ because I am absolutely LIVING for the Ponderosa Twins Plus One sample from ‘Bound’ (also used by Kanye West in ‘Bound 2’ on his Yeezus album) which gives the song a haunting retro feel mixed with a message and the sound of gunfire, again, keeping with the theme of attack but vulnerability.
This album would be good for a night drive, a quirky independent action/sci-fi film or an underground rave.