By Trevor Jones
On his 5th album, Tyler leaves behind his tradition production and pursues a more emotional, poppy sound.
After I first listened to IGOR, it reminded me of tracks like “2SEATER” and “OKAKA, CA” from Tyler’s 2015 record, Cherry Bomb. Only this time, the aesthetic is far more experimental. The 40-minute project opens with the grungy synths of “IGOR’S THEME”. It features Lil Uzi Vert and his contribution to the chorus is incredible. Right off the bat, Tyler establishes that this will not be a rap album. On “EARFQUAKE”, Playboi Carti offers a surprise appearance. This track leads the album in total streams and that could be due to the “Carti-Effect” many believe exists. “I THINK” (my personal favorite), strongly resembles Graduation-era Kanye West. Also, Solange’s vocals only add to the catchiness of the song. The theme of love continues on the low-key, alt-R&B “RUNNING OUT OF TIME”. On “NEW MAGIC WAND” Tyler steps toward his classic sound, but there’s still a unique feel to it. That trend continues on the Beach Boys-esque “GONE, GONE”. Throughout this entire thing, I was so amazed by how different it was. Other artists like Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean each have a classic under their belts and I think Flower Boy, and now potentially IGOR, fit that label.
IGOR is already a spectacular effort, but it really shines because of its subtle features. As I already said, Uzi, Carti, and Solange are on here, but the list continues. Kanye, Pharrell, Santigold, Jack White, + more have contributions.
I really appreciate Tyler’s evolution as a producer considering that his other four projects have each revealed something sonically fresh. At this point, IGOR is my AOTY. Although that could change as a few prominent artists (Flying Lotus, Steve Lacy, Denzel Curry) are planning to drop their respective albums.