Tyler, the Creator – Igor

"Excuse my voice; I can’t sing but I don’t care because it feels good.” So said Tyler, the Creator before he launched into an impassioned – if tuneless – rendition of See You Again on his 2017 NPR Tiny Desk concert. That song was taken from his then-newly released fourth album, Flower Boy, a bright, optimistic departure from his usual dark, introspective rap. It marked a newfound confidence in the 28-year-old’s music; no longer relying on the shock tactics of earlier records like Goblin, he was refreshingly comfortable in his own skin and endearingly enthusiastic about his own work.

On the follow-up, Igor, there is a lot more singing and even more joy. Performing concerts in support of the album while dressed in a Warhol wig, shades and dazzling neon suits, Tyler cavorted all over the stage celebrating an even greater breadth to his music. His singing has improved somewhat, while his lyrics are expository and personal: in the closing lines of twinkling R&B track Earfquake, he pleads with a partner, “Don’t leave, it’s my fault”, before moving on to the self-discovery of a settled breakup on Running Out of Time with the lines: “You never lived in your truth / But I finally found peace, so peace.”

Read the review in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 16/12/19]