Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
Released: 17 May 2019
Tyler drops his 808s & Heartbreaks and When I Get Home with IGOR! Like Kanye on 808s, Tyler abandons his natural voice in lieu of computerized vocal effects to sing serenades of love. And like on Solange‘s When I Get Home, Tyler trades full verses and song structure for more emotional production and succinct, chant-like lyrics. Rapping is merely a pocket on IGOR, an album focused on harmonies, chords, and production sophistication.
I find many Kanye West parallels and influence on IGOR:
- “POWER” drums on “IGORS THEME”
- “Lost in The World” sounding drums on “I THINK“?
- Chords & rap cadences from West‘s “Stronger“ hit on “I THINK“?
- The Ponderosa Twins‘ “Bound 2” sample on “A BOY IS A GUN“
- And not to mention an actual Kanye feature on “PUPPET“.
- On IGOR, there’s a similar fanatical approach to love as seen on 808s and MBDTF.
IGOR is a concept album, and the theme is pretty straight forward – it chapters the motions of love, from falling in love (“I THINK“) to becoming dangerously attached (“PUPPET“), the chaotic separation (“WHAT’S GOOD“) and amicable closure (“GONE, GONE/ THANK YOU”). But what ISN’T clear is WHO Tyler is talking to/about.
Is IGOR about Tyler‘s relationship with fans? His love of music? Someone from his personal life? The album ends on “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?“, a head-scratching outro. Throughout IGOR‘s 39 minute run-time, Tyler goes through the motions love, love-lost, and closure, yet at the end asks: are we still friends? Does this leave the door open for an IGOR sequel?
★★★★★: Best in show; pinnacle release from an all-time great artist.
★★★★1/2: Stellar example of genre; peak potential.
★★★★: Excellent; recommended to all fans of artist or genre.
★★★1/2: Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.
★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.
★★1/2: Average; does little to establish the artist or maintain quality.
★★: Unexceptional; a few highlights but otherwise bland.
★1/2: Weak; unrecommended for anyone but major fans of the style and/or artist.
★: Seriously flawed; very poor work but relatively listenable.
1/2: Terrible; a true embarrassment and akin to audio masochism.