Best Songs: "GONE, GONE/ THANK YOU", "EARFQUAKE", "RUNNING OUT OF TIME", "I DON'T LOVE YOU ANYMORE", & "A BOY IS A GUN".
*emphasis on "GONE, GONE/THANK YOU"*
Before we get started, if you love this album as much as I do, you're going to love all of "Isolation" by Kali Uchis and "KIDS SEE GHOSTS" by Kid Cudi and Kanye West.
Two years have passed since the release of "IGOR" and hundreds of albums have come and gone yet none have replaced the place this album has in my heart. The twelve power-packed and songs that make up "IGOR" are each a journey of their own with distinct sounds and stories that bring the album to life. "IGOR" in essence is the hip-hop version of a storybook and Tyler falling in and out of love is its plot and I believe that this is what separates the album from countless others. I know what I just said makes zero sense but once you go through the album, you'll get what I'm talking about.
"IGOR" makes you want to smile, cry, dance, and close your eyes at the same time. There's really no explaining it. It is complex and unpredictable; that's why I enjoy it so much. Tyler's quirky genius is truly unrivalled. He doesn't need emotive lyrics to make you reflect on your life (although he does use them throughout the album). Give him a drum set and a keyboard and the results will leave you speechless. He isn't known for obeying rules and conventions. In fact, some don't even consider "IGOR" a rap album due to how different it is from almost every other hip-hop album they've heard. Yes, Tyler doesn't rap on a few songs but some of his featured artists do and the drum beats used throughout the album are conventional to hip-hop. In my opinion, songs on "IGOR" uniquely combine sounds and styles predominantly used in genres created and beloved by the African-American Community (such as soul, blues, R&B, hip-hop/rap etc) to produce stellar tunes and experiences that you won't forget anytime soon. Another reason why I adore this album is that it does not forgo good lyrics for magical beats. While Tyler's lyricism is worlds apart from that of Kendrick Lamar or J Cole, his playful, provocative, and sometimes emotional style is what sets him apart. I'm trying hard not to rant right now but I'll never respect an artist who gets stupidly famous by doing nothing but name-drop brands and rapping thoughtless phrases over horribly produced beats. I think any sane person would prefer Lil Baby over Lil Pump.
The album builds onto the sounds and production styles Tyler experimented with on his previous albums and records such as "See You Again (feat. Kali Uchis)", "Where This Flower Blooms (feat. Frank Ocean)", "Boredom (feat. Rex Orange County)", and many more records. "Flower Boy" presented a softer side of Tyler and this persona is significantly present in "IGOR" as well. Although the two albums present a similar persona, the use of different synths, arpeggios, and drums in "IGOR" is astoundingly beautiful. Those are not words you frequently use to describe many mainstream rap songs. Every song on "IGOR" was produced and written by Tyler himself. On the contrary, "Flower Boy" had features from a wide range of artists from Rex Orange County to Kali Uchis (we'll talk about my ROC and Kali obsession later) to the one and only, Frank Ocean. Don't get me wrong, "IGOR" had its fair share of mind-blowing features; Kanye West, Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, etc appear on a few songs.
Playing this entire album once will put you in a sultry summer state of mind even if you're surrounded by a foot of snow. Tyler, The Creator created an experience over twelve songs that many artists won't ever be able to replicate. I love albums that can make you forget about reality and/or think. Eg: "Pony" by Rex Orange County, "ASTROWORLD" by Travis Scott, "AM" by Arctic Monkeys, "Ultraviolence" by Lana Del Rey, "Wiped Out!" by The Neighbourhood, "Savage Mode 2" by 21 Savage and Metro Boomin, "Blonded" by Frank Ocean and, obviously, "WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?" by Billie Eilish. Don't even get me started on indie albums. But you get the point. "IGOR" is an intricate masterpiece that has something for everyone and every mood. "IGOR'S THEME" when you want an energy boost; "I THINK" when you want to dance; "RUNNING OUT OF TIME" for when you want to dim the lights and be alone in your room. "IGOR" breaks rules and defies expectations and that is why it'll forever be one of the greatest albums the industry has ever known. Clearly, the Grammys agreed. I can't wait to see how Tyler, The Creator will top this off. But knowing him, I'm positive he'll manage to create (pun very much intended) something even better.
Yes, I love "GONE, GONE / THANK YOU" more than enough to devote an entire section to it. Here are the verses that made me fall in love with this song and album:
-Comparing scars before dinner
-Jump off the booth into the mirror
-Felt like summer
-To my December
-Whether it's rain or shine, I know I'm fine for now
-My love's gone, my love's gone
-I hate wasted potential, that shit crushes your spirit
-It really does, it crushes your soul
You just have to listen to Tyler sing "whether it's rain or shine, I know I'm fine". If you think the lyrics are great, just listen to the synths and guitar he pairs it with. Incredible. Just incredible.
Lastly, if you've been having a rough day, here's Tyler's acceptance speech at the 2020 Grammys:
He's a gem.