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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Review: New Tyler, The Creator tunes

    Odd+Future+Records

    Odd Future Records

    Tyler, The Creator, Odd Future mastermind, didn’t care much for marketing when he randomly released his fourth full-length album on April 13. The LP, entitled Cherry Bomb, is exactly what it promises: The first half of the album shows Tyler aggressively sorting out his mind and madness, while the second half seems more calm and enjoyable. While Schoolboy Q released his master strike I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside last month, Cherry Bomb adds only little to the golden year that’s happening to hip-hop in 2015. For that, Cherry Bomb is a bit ear-assaulting. It is cheap and slacks sound quality as Tyler’s vocals are far too quiet and sometimes indistinguishable. The beats are too mild and it appears unmastered at times.

    While completely self-produced, Tyler, The Creator doesn’t fail to surprise with interesting collaborators. The California-native gets Lil Wayne and Kanye West on the same track and has Schoolboy Q and Pharrell Williams on board. The latter seems to have had a vast influence throughout the whole composition. “Deathcamp” opens the LP with N*E*R*D-style beats and Tyler explaining that he “named the album Cherry Bomb because ‘Greatest Hits’ sounded boring.” The track is the first indicator that the album is not going to be an easy one.

    After the aggressively confusing opener, “Buffalo” incorporates chaotic synths and distorted riffs into a slowish hip-hop rhythm, while Tyler continues in the same aggressive manner, this time outlining a major theme of the record: the motion of flying — “get those wings flappin’ motherfucker ‘cause this kid’s ready to fucking fly.”

    “Pilot” takes on the flight theme as well and marks itself with gripping synths and Cherry Bomb’s first catchy hook. “Run” is a somewhat intensive skit and has Tyler addressing the ruthless behavior of his peers, telling them to “run as fast as [they] can.” He seems to deliberately let go of the flight theme, because, as opposed to himself, his peers aren’t ready to spread their wings yet. “Find Your Wings,” however, delivers a fine jazz-house instrumental and the album’s very first relaxed moment. Don’t be fooled though, because “Cherry Bomb,” the title song, continues with in-your-face beats, and somehow, Tyler, The Creator manages to add so much synth and buzz that the peace and quiet of Cherry Bomb’s latter half is much needed.

    “Blow My Load” marks the album’s change in pace with tinny beats and a slower, enjoyable pace. In “2Seater,” the longest song of the album, the rapper comes up with a string and a horn section, making the track the harmonic highlight in a collection of distortion that is Cherry Bomb.

    “The Brown Stains Latifah Part 6-12” delivers a set-back moment of dissonance though, because Tyler isn’t going to make it easy for the listener. In the West and Wayne collab “Smuckers,” those involved are doing their usual. “Keep Da O’s” is another highlight that delivers the classic Tyler-counterpart to the hip-hop atypical “2Seater.” “Okaga, CA” closes Cherry Bomb in a relaxed manner that makes it kind of easy to forget the assaulting sound quality of the album’s first half. Cherry Bomb is a challenging record, but Tyler, The Creator manages to remain transparent and likeable in the best ways, reminding us that we can’t wait for what’s about to happen next.

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    Follow Caren Badtke on Twitter.

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