Tyler, The Creator’s ‘IGOR’ fails to deliver a homerun


Sam Zuckerman ’21

Going For Gold: Tyler’s album sold 78,000 pure copies in its first week of sales, which rocketed it to the first position on the Billboard 200. If certified gold, it would be the third time Tyler did it in his career

Tyler, The Creator’s long-awaited fifth studio album ‘IGOR’ made waves in the music industry instantly when it was released on May 17.. The 12 track project, which featured artists such as Kanye West, Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert and slowthai received praises from Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. The album hit number one on the Billboard 200, and has been seen as Tyler The Creator’s best work, but it doesn’t really deserve all the praise it gets.
The beautiful thing about “IGOR” is that it is raw and underproduced. Tracks such as “ARE WE STILL GOOD” and “NEW MAGIC WAND” have these types of beats that hit you hard when you first listen to them, and really catch your attention. The underproduction of “IGOR” is the unique part of the album, and is what gives listeners shock they get when they listen to the album, which is one of the main selling points of it.
Tyler also uses a high amount of features that add interesting spice to the individual tracks. Specifically, the Playboi Carti feature on “EARFQUAKE” and slowthai’s on “WHAT’S GOOD” show how Tyler is using his features in many different ways and shows a lot of creative thinking from him.
The upbeat tone of “EARFQUAKE” fits Carti’s style of rapping well, and this adds a lot to the song. Slowthai’s on the other hand would be seen as more abstract, as Tyler uses him in more of an ad-lib role, but still gives him a bit of free reign over the interlude. Slowthai’s part adds this dark, almost sadistic vibe to the song that is not heard in many other parts of the album. These two features are only standouts in a collection of great ones, and add a lot to the entire album.
On the other hand, the album is far from perfect and is undeserving of the excessive praise that it is receiving. The main issue with the album is that it is a one listen project.
These aren’t songs you can go back to over and over again or add to a playlist. Yes, they are creative and yes, they may be well produced, but they all lack that vibe that would make them a hit.
Many of the popular songs out now, such as “Going Bad” by Meek Mill and “Middle Child” all have hard hitting verses and punchlines, which is something that almost all of the songs on the album lack. This makes it very hard to give it top marks.
“IGOR” is a very good first listen and deserves props for that. That being said, the album becomes stale after a very short while. The album does get many marks for being creative, and almost a complete 180 degree flip from the way rap is going right now, but that doesn’t make it a great, or even good album. “IGOR” lacks pizzazz because of this, and you easily call it a one trick pony.