Photo Credits: ALLYSON KO / AGGIE
The Arts Desk reviews Tyler, the Creator’s fifth studio album
Clay Allen Rogers:
“IGOR” is a gift from the soul of Tyler, the Creator — an art piece unlike anything that has ever been released by Tyler, or any other musician for that matter. Each song is a deliberately placed brushstroke that contributes to the whole of the piece. Press play on the album; listen to it frontwards, backwards or on shuffle and it will cut through to the heart all the same. Think of a theme that reflects the turmoil of planet earth and, most likely, Tyler has filtered that message into one of his songs within the album.
“A BOY IS A GUN” was my favorite track. I imagine the line “When the time is right (a boy is a gun) / No, don’t shoot me down” is an ode to the 48 black young adults and children who’ve been killed by police in the last five months of 2019 alone. “IGOR” is more than just an album — it’s a story and a lesson sung to its listeners with the utmost passion and commitment.
“IGOR” dropped the night of a Mac DeMarco concert I was at and, after such an incredible experience, I went home and immediately listened to “IGOR” and haven’t stopped since. For most people, watching Tyler, the Creator’s progression from his early Odd Future days to “Flower Boy” to “IGOR” debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart has been really exciting. Like most artists who have been in the limelight since they were younger, watching Tyler mature and change with his music seems to match our own progression and maturity perfectly.
The more I listen to “IGOR,” the more I continue to find new songs or moments on the album that stick out to me, but my personal favorites are “EARFQUAKE” and “GONE, GONE / THANK YOU.”
“IGOR,” with heavy synthesizer production and deeply introspective lyrics, supplements Tyler, the Creator’s new artistic trajectory. Following “Flower Boy,” the album is a step away from his blunt and shocking lyrical trademarks. The album’s sound is relatively consistent throughout, using similar production tools and melancholic undertones. Despite general uniformity, the album manages to avoid stagnation, compelling the listener to tune in for the full 40 minutes.
The opener and my personal favorite track, “IGOR’s Theme,” strikes energy into the record. The majority of the song is composed of a subtle layering process. Hymn-like lyrics are weaved into its instrumental of both heavy and delicate synths. Around the 2:30 mark, it lulls into a moment of anticipation before roaring back into life in a wall of electrifying sound.
Written by: Clay Allen Rogers, Rosie Schwarz and Andrew Willliams — firstname.lastname@example.org