Tyler, the Creator’s 6th album has finally arrived after two years of waiting, since his critically acclaimed album Flower Boy. Igor is the first hip hop album to go #1 with no co-producer. Igor was set to drop on May 17th, but had a surprise release on the 16th, on all platforms. Leading up to the release, there were snippets of songs put on Youtube along with abstract videos. When the videos were released the titles had been blocked out with symbols, which were later changed to the actual titles, being IGOR’S THEME, WHAT’S GOOD, NEW MAGIC WAND, and a boy is a gun*, the names of the full tracks.
Before we talk about the album, we need to talk about why the hype leading up to the album was so big. Since the release of Tyler’s last album Flower Boy, people had been excited to see what could come from the artist. The album expressed a new side to Tyler, being previously known for his vulgar and offensive music, and his influence from the group Odd Future. This new side of Tyler, showed a more emotional person, even hinting at new thoughts about his sexuality. This jumped out as a surprise, since he had previously seemed to be, anti-gay within his musical expression.
The albums first track, IGOR’S THEME kicks the album off with uncomfortable, and offsetting noises, and is an overall great first track to an album. Contrasting to the first tracks on Tyler’s other albums, this is more of a jump right in to the music, contrasting to albums such as Goblin and Wolf, starting off with a running story from his past albums, being Tyler’s therapist in the album, named Dr. TC.
This album’s story, is about Igor, (which is another personality of Tyler, such as Wolf) Igor falls in love and isn’t sure how to handle it, hinting at Tyler coming to senses with his sexuality, further expressed on the interlude track, “EXACTLY WHAT YOU RUN FROM YOU END UP CHASING”. Then Midway through the album, specifically on the tracks “A BOY IS A GUN*” and “PUPPET” when Tyler doubts his faith to his lover in the story. While the first half of the album feels depressing, yet happy, the second half is the same, but focuses more on the depressing aspect. The second half is Tyler sulking and apologizing to the lover and ending the album on the final track of the fitting name, “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?”
The features on Igor are sometimes hard to notice, and never steal the show from Tyler, except from maybe Playboi Carti’s verse on “EARFQUAKE” or Kanye West’s verse on “PUPPET” which were some of the more noticeable features, compared to the features of Lil Uzi Vert, and Santigold.
Dana Student Kaelan McLaren stated when asked about his opinions on Igor stated, “ I didn’t like the high pitched voice all the time, and I expected it to sound like Cherry Bomb (Tyler’s 2015 album), which it did in some sense, but was still special in its own way, he used some awesome old R&B samples for songs like “IGOR’S THEME”. I can’t really compare it to anything else in his discography, though I feel like it was special in its own way. My favorite track off the album was probably “A BOY IS A GUN*”. It did feel a little bit all over the place though I would say it is a solid 9.5”
The album is something we’ve never heard from Tyler, receiving great reviews from the internet, including a decent 9 from The Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd, Anthony Fantano. In my personal opinion, the album is an 8.5 out of 10, the album is probably the best project from Tyler yet, or on par with Wolf and Flower Boy, Tyler’s most acclaimed albums, and shows growth from Tyler musically and emotionally, and although the album has less complex verses, it makes up for it in production quality and storytelling. Tyler has come a long way to go from a rough rapper in the group Odd Future, to become the new emotional adult.