Review of Flower Boy the Album, Tyler, the Creator
Seven years back, when Odd Future madness initially cleared the Internet, we were collectively shocked by the team's rock voiced instigator, Tyler, the Creator. In the years since, Odd Future has disbanded and its individuals and subsidiaries have developed into some of popular music's most critical artists. Tyler, the Creator has always been seen as a vulgar, abstract and unique artist, with many calling his lyrics misogynistic and homophobic, but with the 2017 release of his fourth studio album, Flower Boy, many are starting to see him in a whole new light. The Flower Boy album is an amazing album that showcases Tyler’s growth and maturity as a person, as well as themes and ideas that have been seen from him before but are now more solid and fleshed out.
Love is a major theme that comes up again and again throughout Flower Boy both for the self and others. One moment Tyler is telling us his secret for maintaining beautiful and glowing black skin, the next, how he’s “been kissing white boys since 2004.” There’s an openness present in this album unlike the ones before it. This newfound openness allows Tyler to speak freely about his emotions and what he’s been going through as an artist. When we initially learned of Tyler, the Creator, he was a mystery. He rapped about murder, necrophilia, assault, and a bunch of different topics that prompted some to label his music as gothic or horror core. Love was the exact opposite thing anyone was connecting to the Odd Future author. For example, "Sarah," "She," and "Simple" with its basic subjects of affection and closeness, were contorted by depravity and savagery.
The significance of Flower Boy is seeing Tyler advancing and cherishing himself, and treating his worries, needs, and stresses with a relatable authenticity that he's appeared in differing degrees on earlier works, but not at all like this one. He's blooming into the individual he knows he needs to be and is equipped for being, and possibly eventually he'll see somebody to share it with however until at that point, he's discovered satisfaction in cherishing himself. What's more, that is the thing that issues most. Previously, Tyler's collections have been enlarged and messy. Flower Boy is 17-minutes shorter than the normal Tyler collection with more transitions and less chaos and disorder. He has been known to overthink things or “do Tyler things”, labeling on eight-minute force cuts, patching together jumbled songs, including connections and attachments where they aren't needed. These melodies convey in them his creative soul without getting to be exhausted. His aspiration is a main focus of his work, yet he reduces it for a more agreeable and streamlined tune in.
a distinct similarity between Cherry Bomb and Flower Boy that units them apart from the rest of Tyler’s discography, is the absence of different former Odd Future rappers. For the second time, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats and Mike G don’t make a single appearance. In fact, the only rappers featured on the album are himself, Lil Wayne, Jaden Smith and Tyler’s new best friend, A$AP Rocky. The relaxation of the album’s supporting cast is comprised of singers including the annoyingly gifted 19 year-old Steve Lacy from The Internet, Kali Uchis, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rex Orange County, Anna of the North, Estelle and of course, Frank Ocean and Pharrell Williams. While Tyler does his honest share of singing on this album he primarily leaves the hard work to his vocal guests. One can’t help but hope that, in the future Tyler decides to endure the complete weight of the sung hooks; it feels quite disappointing when the honestly endearing moment on “Boredom” in which he sings on my own comes to an end when he interrupts the entire song to ask for assist from the featured artists.
Later in the Album Tyler proceeds to rap "Next line will have them like 'Woah'/I've been kissing white boys because 2004" on "I Ain't Got Time." Tyler makes these statements nonchalantly, there's no problematic guise or some thing that contorts the announcements. Here, he's blunt yet enjoyable loving, the casualness and tone in which he voices his sexual orientation releasing in a sense– that he is no longer choked nor characterised by using this. That freedom is present throughout Flower Boy the place Tyler confesses so an awful lot about himself in such a personal way, that you almost feel like you’re riding passenger seat in his car as he tells you the woes of his life with a sincerity that feels conversational.
Overall, Flower Boy is an incredible album that sees an artist who has consistently done things on his own terms, continue to do so. Tyler ignores popular trends and who happens to be hot right now and instead drafts in assistance from artists he himself enjoys, to carry his most trustworthy and his most mature album to life. Flower Boy is Tyler’s chronicle of a conflicted artist still grappling with what it takes to be an adult. By the tail end of the album, you’re rooting for him and enthralled with his new method of making music. If he continues to discover these new aspects of himself, Flower Boy should prove to be a genuine innovative turning point for Tyler, The Creator, a masterpiece that takes an extremely talented and popular artist and transforms him into something brilliant.
Lester, Paul. “Tyler, the Creator: Flower Boy Review – Closet Door Opens to Gawky Gorgeousness.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 July 2017, www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jul/21/tyler-the-creator-flower-boy-review.
Pearce, Sheldon. “Tyler, the Creator: Flower Boy.” Pitchfork, Pitchfork, 21 July 2017, pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/tyler-the-creator-flower-boy/.