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IGOR by Tyler, the Creator: Review

Credit: COLUMBIA RECORDS

IGOR by Tyler, the Creator tells the story of love in all its phases.


Haydn Rooth | Interrobang | Lifestyles | June 7th, 2019




On May 17 Tyler, the Creator (Tyler Okonma) released IGOR, his fifth studio album (disregarding his first mixtape, Bastard).

IGOR is a beautiful album illustrating the complexity of love through its phases. The iconoclast- turned-Flower Boy begins the album by detailing new love. Tyler then flows into the joys of love followed by the tribulations caused by the loss of those initial feelings, and the realization that someone is just not who you thought they were.

The song “IGOR’s Theme” starts the album off with a doomy synth tone that begins the recurring motif of doom, regret, and negativity. However, the dark recurring theme is beautifully interwoven into the upbeat ’80s style steel drums, synth pop and cheery lyrics that illustrate the love felt by Igor.

This song almost serves as a warning sign to any lover that may be considering diving into the mind of Igor. “IGOR’s Theme” features a very high-pitched Lil Uzi Vert singing the chorus beginning this recurring stylistic choice in the vocals.

“EARFQUAKE” and “I THINK” detail the emotions and feelings around a new love. Both songs feature Tyler belting his heart out onto the track with simple lyrics like, “you make my earth quake”, signalling the world-shaking feeling of falling in love.

Quite possibly the best Kanye West song Kanye never wrote, “I THINK” is a beautiful telling of the confusion around falling in love. The up-pitched vocals on most of the tracks give Tyler the ability to express his emotions fully through the character of Igor.

“RUNNING OUT OF TIME” sees Tyler discuss in detail the current issue of his new lover returning to a previous one. The lyrics, “running out of time, to make you love me” are crooned by Tyler in a way that does not feel desperate but almost as though he is targeting his rival love with disparage.

“NEW MAGIC WAND” brings back the doomy synths and an explanation of who Tyler is talking about: “I saw a photo you look joyous…I need to get her out the picture…she’s not developed like we are”. Tyler is rapping about a man he may lose to the man’s previous girlfriend. This track also sees Tyler adopt a new flow that is reminiscent of Kanye West.

“A BOY IS A GUN*” and “PUPPET” exemplify the duality of emotions that Igor faces on this album. “A BOY IS A GUN*” chronicles Tyler’s romantic experiences with this man which seems to be both good and bad for Tyler. “PUPPET” takes this theme and runs with it sending Igor into a realization period where his lover has finally proven too toxic for him to stand.

This is where the album takes a turn from a confused Igor toiling over a toxic love into an empowered Igor who values himself above all else. Of course, this is also where Tyler’s iconoclast comes into play with the song “WHATS GOOD”. This track has Tyler boasting, and almost feels like he is giving Igor the tools to stand up for himself.

However, the end of this track has comedian Jerrod Carmichael saying, “I don’t know what’s harder, letting go or just being okay with it”, showing that Igor still has some emotions to process.

The last three songs of this album, “GONE”, “GONE/THANK YOU (GG/TY)”, “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE”, and “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” are a critically important analysis of the mindset and emotional state of Igor through this breakup.

“GG/TY” is a beautifully written song about accepting all of the love and joy someone has given you but also understanding how that person has hurt you. “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE” is as simple as it sounds but again is bathed in complex melodies that add to the emotions Igor went through.

“ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” is the perfect send-off to this beautiful album. Simplistic lyrics illustrate the vulnerability felt by Igor in this moment. A smooth rhythm & blues beat carries this track into the synth slide that ends this album off without resolving the buzz.

The vulnerability of the man asking, ‘are we still friends?” is powerful and paints the picture of Igor pleading his lost love for one last shot at a connection. A beautiful album of heartbreak has come to a close, Tyler, the Creator has transformed into an amazing producer that will be revered for years to come.

IGOR by Tyler, the Creator receives a 9/10.
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