IGOR: Yay or Nay?
Tyler, the Creator's new album, IGOR has been turning a lot of heads, from it's interesting sound scape to it's eccentric imagery. The sleek blonde bob Tyler wear's while he dances in his short videos for the record gives me Andy Warhol vibes and this fits the sound of the album which is reminiscent of an old 70's record. The third song off the album, "I THINK" even has the crackling of a record added into the mix which gives it that vintage feel. IGOR is great at taking the listener away into another era sonically and visually, but did I like all of it? Keep reading to see my breakdown of the record song by song. Let's dive into Tyler's new persona and album, IGOR.
The first song that stood out to me was "EARFQUAKE". This is the second song on the compilation and includes a rap verse from Playboi Carti and vocals from the lead singer of Blood Orange, Devonte Hynes. The song also includes subtle background vocals from Charlie Wilson.
The chorus steals the show as Hynes croons repeatedly how this love of his makes his "earth quake". I love this simple metaphor because with one word Tyler depicts a relationship that is powerful but destructive. The chorus goes on to explain that this person excites him but also makes his "heart break". Right away we know the album's main interest is going to be centered around one of Tyler's toxic romantic experiences.
Sonically, I love the song for the most part. The piano at the beginning is really beautiful and all of the synthesizers keep it interesting by playing different melodies over one another. Yet again Tyler's excellence at production is seen and executed. But I wish he had taken out Carti's verse. It is obnoxious and in my opinion doesn't fit the rest of the sonic landscape. You can't understand a word that Carti says and it distracts from the rest of the music.
By the end of the song we finally hear Tyler's voice loud and clear. He recites how he doesn't want to argue with this other person. He just wants "confirmation" that they feel the same way about him as he does about them. I like how the verse is short, sweet and melodic. This allows us to yearn more for Tyler's rapping.
"I THINK" begins with Tyler's voice repeating a short adlib and then the crackling of a record and light beat come in. The adlib is simply him saying four and skate. I don't think this had any deeper meaning but it adds a really cool dimension to the beat. A repeating piano riff comes into the recording playing a falling chord progression. This combined with the synthesizers added later makes me think that Tyler was influenced by Kanye West's "Stronger". Even though the influence seems heavy I don't mind it. The chord progression used is timeless and Tyler reinvents it to make it his own.
Solange is featured in the song and sings the chorus along with Tyler. The chorus is really catchy, short and straight forward. Her vocals fit perfectly in the mix and really make the song beautiful. I wish everything else fit so well. Though I like the idea of the song sounding like it was right of an old record, the crackling is too loud in my opinion and distracts from the rest of the song. As a listener you shouldn't have to feel like you want to turn down a certain parts of a song.
A BOY IS A GUN*
The seventh song off of IGOR starts with a repeating refrain begging the subject of the song to not shoot the speaker. A BOY IS A GUN* further emphasizes the toxic nature of Tyler's romance. Even the title itself implies that Tyler's love interest could cause him harm at any moment. I like this song better than most of the other compositions on the album because we see Tyler rap more and display his talent for wordplay. My favorite line is "Boy, you sweet as sugar, diabetic to the first degree." This imagery gives a nice dash of flavor (no pun intended) and makes the lyrics more compelling. The rhythm of the chorus also is really pleasant and fits nicely over the pitched up sample that's used. The sample is from the song "Bound" by The Ponderosa Twins Plus One which was also sampled by Kanye West for his song Bound 2. This further shows how much of an influence West had on our favorite flower boy. Personally I like the influence even if I don't like Kanye as a person.
Though I really loved some songs off the album, there were too many distracting elements to the record for me to give it a great rating. For example the crackling on certain songs is too heavy, the distorted bass doesn't add to the tracks in my opinion and so on. Also in many songs Tyler pitches up his voice while rapping. This personally doesn't do much for me and just detracts from the rest of the mix. I did enjoy many of the samples he used as they matched the tone of the record and made it blend well. That and a few of his lyrics were a highlight off the album. Flower Boy for me is still my favorite record from him and I think that is just a very hard album to beat. Out of ten I give IGOR a six.
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