Frank Zappa (avant garde musician/ALLEGED thief of my grandfather’s tools) once described his album Hot Rats as “a movie for your ears.” Tyler, the Creator is a disciple to this principal with each of his releases being rooted in sonic concept. With his latest, IGOR, Tyler has created his most consistent and immersive project yet by utilizing elements from each of his previous releases with a bold new sound that has the potential to alter the entire pop landscape. I’m not being hyperbolic… IGOR could be the next 808s and Heartbreaks or Low. IGOR isn’t just another Tyler release, but the sum of all the musicians unique parts fully meshing together and taking the listener into territories unexplored.
The movie opens with a synth that sounds like the THX sound scraped against a cheese grater. Immediately, you are hit in the face with the audacity of this record- it’s like the opening to Yeezus: a big fuck you to anything you expected with the invitation to jump in or get out. The story of IGOR details a potentially (almost certainly) queer relationship that never was formalized- even if the feelings were authentic, albeit mostly one-sided. Tyler takes you through every traditional step: falling in love, jealousy, desperation to the point of self loss (the pleading of “I’m your puppet” in “PUPPET” got to me), acceptance, until he’s finally alone trying to hold onto any last emotional scrap asking again and again, “Are we still friends?”