Bite-sized Album Review #1: Tyler the Creator’s ‘IGOR’

Spotify told me that IGOR was my top album for the year. And I am honored to be able to say that. I listened to IGOR a couple of times the day it came out. I wake up pretty early and so I found myself taking my first listen while laying in the bed, staring up at the ceiling. My second listen of the day took me on a mindless walk around my college’s campus. It was played nonstop for months after that. The album is great; a maturity of the sounds that we had already been introduced to in Tyler’s early music is mixed with a backdrop that sounds like a middle school prom. It’s an album that builds on the loneliness that is explored in Flower Boy, while bringing in a modge podge of sounds and influences that goes back to albums like Bastard and Goblin. I have a more extensive article on some thoughts about this album planned for later, so for now, here are a few short thoughts.

Cohesiveness of Sound

This album is beautifully made. Tyler fits in a bunch of different samples and bits of inspiration from other songs and artists into a project that still flows sonically, which has always been his specialty. He has an appreciation for music and the music-making process that makes it easy for him to find the missing pieces and fit them in perfectly. It’s why he can go from a song like “NEW MAGIC WAND” and “A BOY IS A GUN;” though they have different energies, they still feed off of each other in way that makes sense.  The features on this project are also great. They don’t overshadow the work that Tyler puts in, but ease the story along and don’t sound misplaced. The songs would be completely different without them.

Cohesiveness of Story

Even without Jarrod Carmichael’s interjections into the songs, each song carries with it a piece of IGOR’s story of love, submission, heartbreak, and eventual freedom and acceptance. This is one of those albums where the sum is greater than its parts, but the parts are also fire on their own. You can get what you need from each song separately, but together, the songs create a powerhouse of emotion and rawness that is hard to turn off.

Vibe Check

The backend of the project is what really picked me up and put me on a big ol’ scoop of “in my feelings” ice cream. The release that Tyler has at the end of “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” shook me to my very core (goosebumps included), and I almost started crying when he performed it at Madison Square Garden during the IGOR Tour. There’s something about the rawness this project that makes it so relatable. Broken hearts are commonplace, and this album allows you to reach back into those feelings – whether for good or for bad.

Overall Review Rating

(listen to IGOR on spotify, by clicking on the image below)

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