- Jake Fraser
In Review: Tyler, The Creator's 'Igor'
"DONT GO INTO THIS EXPECTING ANY ALBUM" - Tyler tells fans to not assume with the new record.
Alongside his highly anticipated new album, Tyler, The Creator gave us some advice on how to maximise the listening experience to its full potential. Tweeting in block capitals, Tyler informed, or warned us, that "Igor", pronounced eee-gore, was something unlike all his previous projects. This isn't Bastard, Goblin, Wolf, Cherry Bomb or even Flower Boy for that matter. Advising a real listening experience, front to back, with no distractions. To paint whatever picture, and form your own feelings for the record.
The album opener "Igor's Theme", presents us with a stripped- back basic, yet effective beat. The crisp snare hits hard, accompanied by some unsurprisingly heavy bass that really invites you to max out your speakers for this record. This track has a 'less is more' vibe to it. Instead of gaps being filled with fast paced lyrics, keyboard breakdowns and soothing soul contribute to give this song a unique sense of personality, and giving us listeners an exciting glimpse into the record.
From the beginning of "Earfquake", Tyler tells us "for real" that this particular number is a more serious ballad lyrically, as he lays down some of his more heartfelt work here. This warmer side of Tyler continues throughout the album until we reach track number 6.
"New Magic Wand" is 3 minutes 15 seconds of the younger Tyler, that we were first introduced to at the beginning of his career. His extreme ideas, which most of us feel uncomfortable even thinking about, send you on a nostalgic trip to his 2011 "Goblin" days. It just wouldn't be a Tyler album if we didn't have at least one track about killing his partner, and her ex. Would it? Plus with a beat like that, no one cares about the criminal nature of the track.
The majority of this album has taken a calm step back from Tyler's usual inclusion of 'slap you in the face' aggressive verses, and a general feel of anger which seemed to fuel his previous writings. Instead we are presented mostly with stripped down beats, 80s styled keyboards, and harmonic soul that takes us on a passenger side trip into Tyler's maturity. "Igor's" change in dynamic initially leaves you waiting for that lyrically grotesque explosion that we are so used to hearing in his work. Another glimpse of that younger Tyler can be found during "What's Good". This may be a little frustrating during the first listen for some fans who expected this of all 12 tracks, but you have to appreciate this new found groove. Anyhow, Tyler has hinted at this progression in his music consistently through previous albums, showing a more reflective and mellow side to his art. So we probably should have expected it.
This album marks a decade since Tyler's first release, "Bastard" in 2009. During this 10 year stint, his music has been criticised heavily for its hard hitting lyrics and lack of maturity. "Igor" presents us with that maturity his previous albums have come into fire for lacking. Maybe not family friendly, but what feels like a breakup album in parts, "Igor" is certainly nothing which will be temporarily banning him from the UK again anytime soon.
Having lowered his guard throughout this album, we finish on "Are We Still Friends?"; a track we initially assume is about an ex partner, but could also be a question aimed at his fans. This milestone in his musical career sees Tyler steering away from older writing styles, and laying his new ones on the table. Is he asking if we are still friends after his change in style? Definitely Tyler, don't be daft.