Tyler the Creator
Wolf


3.5
great

Review

by William Lim USER (20 Reviews)
March 31st, 2013 | 66 replies | 7,212 views


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There's never been a more inappropriate time to be shouting “Golf Wang”.

19 of 22 thought this review was well written

Assessments of Odd Future, and Tyler, The Creator himself, have often been situated around people other than Odd Future. This is, of course, understandable. I mean, Tyler is labelled “provocative” for a reason: there’s an awful lot of celebrity insults, homophobic slurs, rape and murder talk, and a large, god-awful fanbase that seem to surround this single musical figure. But it comes to a point at which we forget that so much of Tyler’s music is personal. He speaks as if he’s talking to his best friend, and often, as if he’s talking to himself: he says things that most probably would not say to anyone. And so we come to Wolf, the best representation of Tyler writing, rapping and just being Tyler for himself: he rarely feels the need to insult celebrities, talk about the distasteful subjects that have made him both notable and notorious, or even mindlessly hype Wolf Gang. I know, I couldn’t believe it myself.

In a way, Odd Future is maturing. I know it’s weird to say, but Domo’s No Idols and even Earl’s latest tracks have mostly shaken off the gimmicks that previously called their legitimacy as musicians into question. It’s only natural that Tyler, a character who has clearly struggled immensely with his personal life, would create a record like Wolf. Lyrically, Tyler takes essentially what Goblin had; the romantic subplot, dual personalities and frustrated introspection; and improves them all fivefold. Musically, the record sticks mostly to lush, atmospheric beats and relaxed tempos. Yet, tracks like “IFHY” and “Pigs” remain unnerved and haunting in the same vein as “Tron Cat” or “Her”; “Trashwang” provides the next instalment in Tyler’s series of Loiter Squad posse cuts a la “Bitch Suck Dick”; and the amount of singer features give “Bimmer”, “Answer” and “Awkward” a great R&B edge. It’s safe to say that Tyler’s aesthetic is largely intact, but on Wolf he is far more inspired and focused, and it really shows.

Worth note is the final affirmation of Tyler as a real hip hop producer. What I mean by “real hip hop producer” is easily defined by Tyler’s production on “Yonkers”; exciting, driving beats that provide easy opportunity for striking verses to be laid over: “Jamba”, “Domo23” and “Rusty” especially all demonstrate this. For the most part, even Tyler’s ambition yields success. “48” utilizes a groove more complex than anything we’ve heard from Tyler yet, and “Treehome95” sees the hyperactive 22-year-old actually sitting back to create an extremely pleasant lounge track. “Tamale”, however, proves somewhat unnecessary with Tallulah’s mindless shouting and the make-shift percussion presented almost as if to annoy in the same way that the Spanish shouting on “NY (Ned Flander)” did. It’s one of the few cringe-worthy moments, alongside Lucas Vercetti’s verse on “Trashwang”, that bog down the record.

Where the album truly falters, however, is perhaps in a subtle, minor place that Tyler, and perhaps most of Odd Future, have always had trouble on record: the material just isn’t that strong. “Cowboy”, “Pigs” and most of the three-part centerpiece “PartyIsn'tOver / Campfire / Bimmer” aren’t bad, sure, but you have to ask, how much do they really impact the entirety of Wolf? It would be unfair to label the weaker tracks on the album “filler”, but many songs constantly fall victim to a homogeneity or plainness that prevents them from keeping up with the real killer moments, risking their memorability. But beyond that, these tracks blunt the resonance that an album like Wolf should have in order for listeners to keep coming back for more, and that is a pitfall that has constantly plagued Tyler's career even since Bastard.

In the end, what clearly defines Tyler’s music is who he is at the time of each record. If Bastard was an angsty Tyler just out of high school, and Goblin was his fame at its great dawn, Wolf is the beginnings of his shining through most of the fame and the hype to just make good music. In the context of his discography, Wolf is less a hallmark as much as a stepping stone onto where Tyler could go as his sound begins to shed the problems it has harboured as early as Bastard, but Wolf as an album alone is strongly produced, thoroughly well performed and, above all, sincere. Tyler is, more than ever, an artist.



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user ratings (605)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
related reviews

Goblin

Bastard

Comments:Add a Comment 
FourthReich
March 31st 2013



17434 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

good review dim, although I disagree wholeheartedly with the artist bit. I feel like this album is actually a step back from his previous work, the only real growth I could hear was in his beats/production.

bach
March 31st 2013



12341 Comments


Agreed. But, the beats made this so much better than goblin.

Digging: Orange - Orange

dimsim3478
March 31st 2013



4885 Comments


I mean he's now more of an artist because he's relented from the shock value.

But yeah, I could have made that clearer.

Digging: Microwave - Stovall

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2013



3442 Comments


Who would neg this? It's quite solid. Have a pos.

FourthReich
March 31st 2013



17434 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

"I mean he's now more of an artist because he's relented from the shock value.

But yeah, I could have made that clearer"


no it's plenty clear I just don't agree with it brother, there's still plenty of shock value here. yeah where are the negs coming from??

ButteryBiscuitBass
March 31st 2013



9898 Comments


Pretty solid stuff.

dimsim3478
March 31st 2013



4885 Comments


there's still plenty of shock value here

In retrospect, yeah. But there's definitely less horrorcore imagery.

It's quite solid. Have a pos.

Thanks, Brostep. Might be a little late but congrats on making contributor!

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2013



1987 Comments


Yeah, dunno what's up with the negs - this may be my favorite of the Wolf reviews so far. Pos'd.

Hep Kat
March 31st 2013



15347 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album has 3.5 average

but the 4 reviews 4 album have 4 average

OFWGSMDSPUTNIK

Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

HighandDriving
March 31st 2013



3288 Comments


Fad is ova, kids.

oltnabrick
March 31st 2013



30617 Comments


urdone

Digging: Volcanic Queen - Sullen Empire

Spec
March 31st 2013



27136 Comments


shit

Digging: Rinoa - An Age Among Them

newjunk2
March 31st 2013



230 Comments


I've only heard "Domo 23" which was really underwhelming and I have no real desire to hear the rest of the album. All of the reviews on here seem pretty positive though.

dimsim3478
March 31st 2013



4885 Comments


"Domo23" is a terrible representation of what this album is.

J0ckstrapsFTW
March 31st 2013



3652 Comments


Golf waaang

Progger6009
March 31st 2013



1082 Comments


This is certainly best of the ones for it so far. Pos'd hard.

DeadGuy
April 1st 2013



377 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

shit's awesome

not as good as Bastard, but no one expected that anyway lol

Digging: Sodom - Tapping the Vein

OrangeHologram
April 1st 2013



152 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

swag

Doomsday160
April 2nd 2013



67 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I gave this joint a listen yesterday. I think his instrumentals have gotten a hell of a lot better (not that his production was ever bad to begin with). Lyrically I'm not sure where its at, I can tell he's done a little bit of growing up but I gotta give it a few more listens to see whats up with the lyrical content. Instrumentals are bomb though.

joshieboy12345
April 2nd 2013



5370 Comments


Wang is such a great word.



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