A Review: Tyler, The Creator’s “IGOR” Reinvents Our Perception Of Breakup Albums

Since 2011, Tyler, the Creator the Odd Future co-founder has been the king of disturbing visuals and controversial lyrics. We might’ve thought “who is this weird but interesting kid with a deep melodic voice and catchy lyrics?”. Branching off into a solo career, Tyler’s debut solo project you can tell that he’s more than earned the right to be heard on his own terms. Fast forward to 2015, releasing Cherry Bomb, Tyler grew more vulnerable within his music. This was desired on Flower boy, a rap jazzy album which led him to open up about his sexuality. Its follow-up, IGOR, is the last step of this revamp process. If you don’t listen closely, you might not even realize “IGOR” is a breakup album.

In an age where we consume a plentiful amount of media during every waking hour, Tyler’s request for us to do nothing but give our full attention to his latest project.

The album starts off with “IGOR’S THEME,” a robotic clattering beat that reminds us of an N.E.R.D production joint with unexpected Lil Uzi and Kali Uchis vocals (“Ridin’ ’round town, they gon’ feel this one”) which had us bopping our heads to the beat. On to “EARFQUAKE” a plea to an unknown love interest featuring contrasting vocals from Dev Hynes and Charlie Wilson with rap lyrics from Playboi Carti. Personally, for me the track gets emotional when Hynes, Wilson, and Tyler all come together and sang “Don’t leave, it’s my fault” *sigh*.

Solange, whose ‘When I Get Home’ album called upon Tyler for added vocals and co-production earlier this year, features on three tracks to offer her airy, gentle, almost perfect vocals. Santigold makes an uncredited appearance on “New Magic Wand” and Tyler’s idol Pharrell adds another layer to “Are We Still Friends?”. Meanwhile, Kanye West turns up for a spot on “Puppet” displaying his most sincere performance in a while. Dealing with doubters, some of those issues seep through on tracks like “What’s Good,” where he flexes on his designer tastes and meditates on mortality, revisiting an incident that took place last fall where he pushed himself too hard in the studio, fell asleep at the wheel of his Tesla Model X on the way home, and crashed into a parked car hard enough to push it 50 feet away.

Frank Ocean gives an excellent performance on “RUNNING OUT OF TIME”. Even “A BOY IS A GUN” puts its own spin on Ponderosa Twins Plus One Ye used for ‘Bound 2’ in 2013. This track also has Tyler, the Creator revealing more intimate details about his love life than ever before. IGOR ends with heartbreak—album closers “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE” and “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?”.

IGOR’s more than just a sad love album. Tyler’s still navigating a world of naysayers and notoriety and it shows throughout the album. Overall, we give this project an A+. Connect with us via social media and let us know some of your favorite songs from the album.

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