Tyler, The Creator reveals the tone for IGOR immediately as the opening track is void of any rap verse. Instead, a wave of different instruments combine to create a beautifully chaotic melody that sounds like bright colours and flashing lights.
This style isn’t new for Tyler, but usually takes a backseat to his hip-hop roots. He still raps occasionally, but IGOR is not a rap album.
It’s a love story, with a very clear beginning, middle, and end. Again, that’s not Tyler’s usual approach; his albums are typically open-ended with no definitive structure.
Though the story of IGOR leaves less to the imagination, Tyler embeds each song with layers of detail. The medley of instruments, the different vocals used, and the lyrics themselves all have a purpose.
The tone of each song perfectly represents its message and place in the overall narrative. Lively, upbeat songs feature as Tyler falls in love, but more ominous tones ensue as things go south.
NEW MAGIC WAND blends the two, as it indicates the first signs of trouble in the relationship. It switches between blissful melodies and aggressive rapping, reminiscent of Tyler’s sullen first album. This technique brings genuine emotion to each song, pervading investment into the entire album.
IGOR’s closing song, ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?, is perhaps the best example of this, as it portrays Tyler post-relationship. A slow beat accompanies soft singing as he almost cries into the microphone.
He’s no longer angry or panicked, just desolate and heartbroken, and the tone of the song would make that clear even without lyrics.
Tyler sings, “I don’t want to leave the season on a bad episode,” as a metaphor for his relationship and for IGOR. It shows his unique approach in telling a real story that just didn’t have a happy ending. It’s only as good, however, because it is so authentic.
He perfectly commands a swarm of sounds to produce his greatest and most unique album to date. His creative genius is unrelenting, displaying why he’s not just a singer, or rapper, but Tyler, The Creator.