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Tyler, the Creator – Cherry Bomb | Album Review

Here’s our opinion on Tyler, the Creator’s new album ‘Cherry Bomb’.

Source: Cover

This is usually a bad sign; an artist out of ideas delivering an indulgent album that will be quickly be forgotten. Turns out this means the opposite for Tyler, the Creator.

Deathcamp‘ opens the album, with Tyler being a huge fanboy doing a near perfect Pharrell impression, with the production sounding like the Neptunes circa 2002. Distorted horns blare over booming basslines as Tyler spits rabid rapid fire:

La-di-da-di, I’m going harder than coming out the closet to conservative Christian fathers
When it’s a lot at stake carne asada let’s be honest, I’m really morphing
Named the album Cherry Bomber cause Greatest Hits sounded boring’

He’s evolved beyond the dick jokes, which at this point would sound tired and he’s also grown as a songwriter; ‘Pilot‘ is  a song about fulfilling your potential. For all of the songs about rape and murder, the positive side of Tyler’s music is overlooked by everyone but his most diehard fans. His lyrics are open and the flow takes a backseat to allow the message to hit home:

You could buy a cart, you could buy many things/ You could buy happiness, but you can’t buy wings/

The subject matter of barely legal relationships on ‘Fucking Young‘ should be funny, but is surprisingly sweet. Simply: “You’re perfect….but you’re too fucking young

The song isn’t a bunch of creepy R Kelly jokes but is more melancholy. The middle section of the album is where the Tyler’s maturity is most evident. The Pharrell influence is in his production and the slower R&B moments are successful compared to ‘Wolf‘ where the execution made these moments feel amateurish and limp.

Blow My Load‘ does what it says on the tin. But despite the graphic content, Tyler’s use of 90’s R&B makes the song sound more mature and sensual than explicit. On ‘2SeaterTyler’s subject changes simply to spending time with a girl and it’s just as captivating any of his other content.

The production of the album is a triumph. He delves into more classic hip hop sounds with ‘Buffalo‘ and then warps those traditional sounds on ‘Smuckers‘ featuring both Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Kanye does sound a little strange over Tyler’s production, but his verse is a little more in step with classic Kanye that seems to be making a comeback. Lil Wayne is a lot more suitable here; as he goes back and forth with Tyler that sees Wayne stronger than he’s been in a while. Tyler is rarely taken seriously as a lyrical rapper, more a shock rapper, but here he’s just rapping and holding his own beside two legends with ease.

Tyler’s maturity doesn’t result in a disconnect from his fan base; but instead develops and pushes the ideas beyond a level any would have expected of him. This album has a tonne of longevity and while it’s hard to imagine Tyler topping this anytime soon, he’s already set the bar incredibly high for his next project.

It certainly is.

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