[ALBUM REVIEW] Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy

Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
Release: 21st July 2017
Label: Odd Future, Columbia
Producer: Tyler, The Creator
Singles: Who Dat Boy (ft ASAP Rocky), 911, Boredom

Tyler, The Creator, all-round visionary and go-to inspiration for budding young artists- rapper, producer, director, fashion designer, label-head and many more. The Tyler of today is very different to the one that burst onto the scene alongside his Odd Future cohorts back in circa 2010. Now spending more time with the likes of ASAP Rocky rather than Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler’s kept in the spotlight through numerous other endeavours such as his Cherry Bomb documentary, Golf Media app, and high profile Converse collaborations. And now, two years since the release of Cherry Bomb, Tyler’s fourth studio album is amongst us- Flower Boy.

Wolf in particular showed Tyler’s progression as an artist, departing from gritty gothic rap, to synth-powered, almost dream rap, often enlisting RnB vocalists, with beats powered by pianos instead of percussion. Cherry Bomb was a project a little more difficult to decipher, with the ear-bleeding self-titled track sitting on a project that possessed a song as poetic as Find Your Wings. Flower Boy is often as difficult to interpret as Cherry Bomb, with run-of-the-mill rap sitting alongside some of Tyler’s most layered and intricate songs in his discography.

It’s an album of two halves, with midpoint standout Garden Shed changing the entire direction of the album. The first half of Flower Boy meanders by, until we’re met with the luscious riffs, and gorgeous soulful claps of a drum. Estelle and Tyler trade vocals, hypnotic and utterly captivating in their stripped back performances. The song then aggresses with trademark Tyler synths, to be met with an incredible noise rock-esque mid point, Tyler finishes up with a tidy outro verse to bring one of the best tracks on the album to a close. November, and the elegant finale Enjoy Right Now, Today also stand out among the album’s highlights.

Wolf was such an impressive piece of music, because it captured the array of mindsets and creative outlets of one of pop music’s most scattered characters. Tyler has a lot of talents, a lot of endeavours, and as was the case with Cherry Bomb, Flower Boy struggles to collate and synthesise these abundance of thought processes. This is best epitomised by the latter of end of the project, in which the forgettable rap bore that is I Aint Got Time! is sandwiched between two of the project’s most impressive outings. Flower Boy has a lot going on, and after listening I’m not really sure what Tyler’s aiming to achieve. And as he raps on Boredom- “So now I’m staring at my ceiling fuckin’ going, Like I have no idea where I’m going”, unfortunately I don’t think he knows all that much either.

Verdict – WWW

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