Tyler, the Creator releases “IGOR”

"IGOR" is an impassioned, endlessly-playable album

Imani McCormick and Nick Boyer

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Tyler, the Creator, dropped his sixth album IGOR on May 17, sharing a story that is familiar to listeners. Falling in madly love, getting caught in a one-sided relationship, pounding through the pain of heartbreak. It’s a cyclic story that the world never gets tired of. I can guarantee you that Tyler made sure of that.

IGOR projects a renewed energy following the release of the Grammy-nominated album Flower Boy in 2017.

The opening track, “IGOR’S THEME,” serves the purpose of preparing listeners for what to expect as explained in the chorus “Ridin’ round town, they gon’ feel this one.” Tyler is suggesting that listeners do something like drive around so that they can truly indulge in the music.

Posted on May 16 via Instagram by @feliciathegoat

Tyler follows with “EARFQUAKE,” containing the most anticipated feature on the album—Playboi Carti. The collaboration employs Carti’s playful and melodic stylings, giving way to a new direction in comparison to Tyler’s previous works. On top of the distorted beats expressive of Cherry Bomb and Flower Boy, Tyler sings about the single aspect of a relationship he is dependent on.

“I THINK” is by far one of the best songs on the album. It delves into his inner conflicts of simultaneously finding love and managing his mental health, singing “You are such a distraction (Four) / Mess with T on-off (Skate) / F****n’ up my ambiance, pause (Four) / You drive me cuckoo and I cough (Skate).”

Between the transition from “I THINK” to “RUNNING OUT OF TIME,” Tyler includes a 15-second interlude “EXACTLY WHAT YOU RUN FROM YOU END UP CHASING.” The latter musically reflects “Boredom” from Flower Boy; however, with a different message conveying an ephemeral relationship with a closeted lover.

“NEW MAGIC WAND” and “WHAT’S GOOD” have become personal favorites. Both nuanced tracks are layered with artificial harmonics creating an aggressive undertone and straying from the upbeat aggregate of songs on the album. Similar to “EARFQUAKE,” they exude traits comparable to those on his 2015 album Cherry Bomb.

The 12-track album is a storytelling masterpiece guiding listeners through Tyler’s heartbreak and resolve.

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