‘IGOR’ is Tyler’s fifth solo album, moving forward to push his experimental sound further through telling the life-altering experience of love over a synth-heavy backdrop.
A highly-anticipated follow up to ‘Flower Boy’ (2018) combined with an abundance of influences as Tyler moves beyond his past into new unchartered territory.
Known for his embrace of a more ‘genre-free’ space this record fulfils just that, yet boldly retaining Tyler’s indulgence towards his creative melodious keyboard talent.
‘Flower Boy’ definitely evoke more emotional undertones than ‘IGOR’ but that doesn’t mean ‘IGOR’ is something to merely glance over. Yet again, Tyler challenges our perception of what music is and should be; something truly individual.
An all-encompassing electricity penetrates through your speakers to welcome us into a ‘new-era’ of Tyler the Creator with, ‘IGOR’S THEME’. A track with many intricate fluctuating avant-garde compositional layers with interjecting gospel harmonies delving into ‘the mind of an artist’, that artist being Tyler the Creator.
Definitely the stand-out, ‘EARFQUAKE’ enters with a layered piano melody highlighting Taylor’s piano compositional and futurist stylistic technique fused embellished by his ‘sung-to-be-heard’ vocals. Remaining its calm, collected vibe which is emboldened in the head-bopping drop which swirls with the sparkling synth. Playboi Carti joins Tyler on the chorus singing, “don’t leave it’s my fault”, creating this velvety memorable vocal tone.
‘I THINK’ switches pace with its brisk drum beat and eccentric synth, ticking-away like Tyler’s mind. Probing his own mental state and feelings during a romantic relationship and his inability to be truly vulnerable and authentic to his ‘lover’. Or perhaps, this is just Tyler showing how like many of us, we tend to overthink ‘love’.
Far from boring, ‘RUNNING OUT OF TIME’ is experimental at its finest. The trickling synth zooming in and out of focus alongside Tyler’s unforgettable melodious keyboard offerings forges this airy vibe, almost imitating the fading love of this relationship. Particularly noteworthy is the bridge, featuring a swirling synth and rousing percussive beat which almost sounds like another song in its own right.
“Sometimes you have to close the door to open the window” opens into ‘NEW MAGIC WAND’ which opens into a revival of a somewhat lo-fi grunge-punk, grimey beat. This progressively builds into the pounding chorus as Tyler hypnotically pleads, “please don’t leave me now.” Although the quote at the start hints at the importance of forgetting your past and moving forward, Tyler’s almost sadistic lyrics within ironically tell a somewhat different ‘unhealthy’ story, which he is aware of.
‘A BOY IS A GUN’ rings nostalgia with its heavy reference to ‘Bond’ by the Penderosa Twins, which was also sampled by Kanye in ‘Bound 2’ (2013). A more unobtrusive, softer tone combining soulful samples, glittering synths and keys glimmering in the background.
‘PUPPET’ and its repetitive, simple keys play out cleverly matching Tyler’s lyrics which discuss the obsessive and protective innate realities of relationships and how it can control even our own behaviours. As Tyler sings out, “I can’t manoeuvre without you next to me, it’s so complex to me” with Kanye making a surprise feature in the chorus.
You can tell almost every thought is literally interjected into this track, ‘I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE’ continues along the broken relationship trajectory as Tyler finally expresses getting over an intense infatuation with his crush. However, as the beat ticks on like time eased by the gentle sweetness of the piano melody and soothing feminine backing vocals interjecting as Tyler speaks, perhaps suggests that maybe his lover is still on his mind.
‘ARE WE STILL FRIENDS’ closes the arc of falling in and out of love with a woozy beat, crooning electric guitar and suspenseful strings as Tyler asks his former lover, “are we still friends?” Although unsatisfying as we don’t get a clear response, which is somewhat satisfying allowing us to understand that perhaps at the end of the day, we all just want to feel accepted.
Go snatch a copy of ‘IGOR’ to bump on that drive to work by simply clicking here.