Tyler, the Creator
IGOR


2.5
average

Review

by Sean H. CONTRIBUTOR (128 Reviews)
May 18th, 2019 | 237 replies


Release Date: 05/17/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Feelings over structure.

A day before it was released, Tyler, the Creator stated that one shouldn't go into IGOR expecting anything; not a rap record, not a follow-up to any record, not even as a record. But, to view any album in a vacuum feels a bit strange. Especially this one, which reminds me of both Flower Boy and Cherry Bomb. The noisy production values and all caps titles of Cherry Bomb, as well as the the themes of love and the dreamy flow of Flower Boy, are definitely here, but Tyler has fully fleshed out the synth-heavy soul that was featured in both of those records. Songs like “I THINK,” “RUNNING OUT OF TIME,” and “GONE, GONE / THANK YOU” all show this stylistic change, but it leaves a bit to be desired.

The production on IGOR, which ebbs and flows from harsh and noisy (“WHAT’S GOOD”) to laid back and droning (“IGOR’S THEME,”) is a bit everywhere, especially when it comes to mixing. Instrumentation is sloppily laid on as many of these songs progress, with booming synth-bass, airy soul-flavored synths, noisy digital percussion, and more are layered on one after another without much clarity, barring the occasional moment of reprieve. Messy is a great way to describe much of this record. There’s a lot of cool ideas, from the beat-shifting on “A BOY IS A GUN” to the strange composition of “NEW MAGIC WAND,” but it’s all too everywhere and scattered, without a clean, concurrent thought-line.

This said, I see the appeal of this sort of record structure, as that messy, everywhere composition vibes well with how disorienting the feeling of love can be. Tyler shows his skill in portraying emotions and how cluttered and tangled they can make one feel. Plus, many of these ideas, which end up reaching a bit over the half-baked mark, are the start to something better. IGOR contains some really fun grooves, some legitimately proficient performances, Tyler’s endearingly imperfect vocals, and a few standout bangers (“WHAT’S GOOD” is a really strong winner when it comes to relistenable tracks). Most of these pieces of music are substantially flawed in some way, but also show a bit of promise.

Maybe IGOR could have used more time in the oven, to make a more coherent piece of art. And, if it wasn’t meant to be clean and the clutter of the record was intentional, that should be more clear to the listener. When I feel this, I feel like my mind is reaching for a purposeful reason for a fundamentally incomplete-sounding project. It’s understandable that one’s first foray into a new style is going to be a bit sloppy, but this is a sound that Tyler has been flirting with for a large amount of his career. Like I said, there are moments where Tyler’s creativity and powerful knack for expressing feelings shines through, but it’s just too unfinished-sounding for me to give it an unabashed thumbs up. At the same time, I find that, somewhere under some clumsy production and a bit of filler, Tyler’s creativity is bubbling subtly.

I don’t know, man, shit’s weird.



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user ratings (606)
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Rowan5215 STAFF (3.9)
a monster 'bout to come alive again...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2019


3029 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

https://open.spotify.com/album/5zi7WsKlIiUXv09tbGLKsE

alt art is way better tbh

constructive criticism and whatever else may come is welcome as always

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2019


42750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

I would definitely disagree that the production here is clumsy, it's intentionally messy & abrasive but it's some of the best I've heard in a minute. just the sound design on I THINK and A BOY IS A GUN through my headphones alone is absolutely breathtaking

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2019


3029 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

fair enough rowbro :3

Gyromania
May 18th 2019


28969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

some of this is really great. still digesting it, but enjoyed it much more the second time around.

SowingSeason
Moderator
May 18th 2019


32741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Very well-written review. I think you're continuing to get better which is a marvel. I could not disagree more about the final product however, but hey that's music for ya.

Digging: Low Roar - ross.

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2019


3029 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks a million sow, that means more than you could imagine :]

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2019


42750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

yes ace review as always bloonio

rabidfish
May 18th 2019


5528 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

intention means nothing

still sounds rushed, unstructured and messy.

nolerthebowler
May 18th 2019


4105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A boy is a gun is a trip, I’m a big fan of the second half of this record



I really don’t mind that he sings so much, cuz I know part of his philosophy is vocal quality isn’t as effectual and it’s more about passion. But there are some vocal filters that are a little tough to listen to, wish he’d pay a little more attention to the tone of the vocal track itself

Ryus
May 18th 2019


17999 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

whats good is



good

JayEnder
May 18th 2019


5899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Loved this idc what anybody says. Good review though man.



New Magic Wand has to be his best song in my opinion.

Digging: Blood Incantation - Hidden History of the Human Race

nolerthebowler
May 18th 2019


4105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album would kill live

SowingSeason
Moderator
May 18th 2019


32741 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I can't talk enough about how amazing those last 4 tracks are. My favorite stretch in hip hop in years.

nolerthebowler
May 18th 2019


4105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He doesn’t really spit too many bars up until that point, but I actually kind of dig that. It makes the verses at the end stand out even more. Really phenomenal, and could have a huge impact on the creativity of the hip hop scene

Gyromania
May 18th 2019


28969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"And, if it wasn’t meant to be clean and the clutter of the record was intentional; that should be more clear to the listener. "



semicolon makes no sense here, just add a comma, it's all part of the same point.

Sinternet
May 18th 2019


20897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

only heard what's good so far because my mate made me but it was a banger



great review as always bloon

Digging: Andy Stott - It Should Be Us

Darius the Great
May 18th 2019


21079 Comments


Bloon, this is a good review, but I did not know you were going to upload with such urgency. It makes sense given how seriously you take your position on the site, but for general purposes you have let me know!

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2019


3029 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sorry chief my b

ill fix it yeero

Gyromania
May 18th 2019


28969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

shit happens, no need to apologize ;D

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2019


3029 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i meant that towards darius but yeah sorry to you

everyone can have an apology if they want one



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