Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tyler, The Creator - "Cherry Bomb"

Tyler is the mischief maker of our time, that’s for sure. But on his new record Cherry Bomb he takes the back seat on telling kids to “burn shit” and starts talking riches and diamonds. This release has a different feel from where he started but the production dynamics are amped up and Tyler ditches straight hip-hop for genre-breaking tracks.

First thoughts when I press play on first track ‘Deathcamp’: this is super upbeat…electric guitar?? What is going on? And whose voice is this?” But then Tyler, The Creator sets the tone for his critique on “the big ol’ lights,” and our destructive obsession with fame. He knows he’s changed: “I bought me a mansion, /that brought some attention.”

While Tyler feels slightly absent from this album, his presence is strong in ways that are not so blatant as raising his voice. He cheekily quotes Kanye on ‘Cherry Bomb’ (“I am a god”) and updates his commentary on mainstream culture on ‘Smuckers’, “fuck your snapchat.” (Kanye actually has a verse on the former track.)

Parts of the record are super slow and lyrically driven but then others are chaotic and fuzzy, this is not for background listening. Sometimes Tyler’s rapping fights to be heard behind asymmetric dance beats. Who would have expected looping piano chords and space synth on a Tyler track? Or jazz sax?

But there’s also a sense of nostalgia to this album, especially with the spoken interludes and faux radio broadcasts. Its variety is perplexing: from double-time husky rapping on ‘Run’ to what might be the most we’ve seen of Tyler showing his romantic side on ‘Okaga, Ca.’ Yes it’s chaotic, yes it clashes and he still brings the Odd Future spirit to Cherry Bomb but it feels a little more refined.

Published on AdamNOTEve.

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