Tyler, The Creator is at his best in “IGOR”

Tyler, The Creator’s “IGOR” offers a satisfying 40-minute playlist that has an unprecedented quality of production.

Tyler Okonma, known professionally as Tyler, The Creator, released his fifth studio album, “IGOR,” on Friday. The 12-song album is a considerable change from Tyler’s previous works that have included aggressive, profanity-laden songs such as “Who Dat Boy” and “Domo 23.”

Another noticeable difference is a clear lack of Tyler’s rapping. “IGOR” finds Tyler stretching his legs as a singer, rather than performing as the in-your-face rapper he has come to be known as.

Okonma enlisted help from industry heavyweights such as Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange and Pharrell Williams to further beef up his track list. The body of work featured in “IGOR” displays Okonma’s most cohesive album to date, with each song sounding incredibly unique but connected at the same time.

If listened to in the way Tyler outlined in his pre-release tweet, each song bleeds into one another, creating a fluidity that is rare in most modern-day albums.

“IGOR’S THEME” and “EARFQUAKE” deliver sensational productions that soar high above any other song on the album.

A droning, electric-sounding bass fuels “IGOR’S THEME” and is accented by a masterful percussion section. There is a nearly three-minute buildup to the song’s explosive ending, creating a sonic tension that pays off immensely.

“EARFQUAKE,” which features uncredited vocals from Playboi Carti, Charlie Wilson and Jessy Wilson, finds its strength in subtle piano and violin pieces dispersed throughout, all led by booming bass and short synthesizer melodies. 

The third song of the album, “I THINK,” features a nod to Pharrell, whose nickname is Skateboard P. Okonma has said that Pharrell is one of his biggest musical influences. Throughout “I THINK,” Tyler repeats “For Skate” as an accompaniment to the production.

“RUNNING OUT TIME” is Tyler at his most mellow. One of the few songs where Tyler raps, the last part of the album’s fourth song is propelled by a single snap every second.

“NEW MAGIC WAND” plays like songs of Tyler’s past, specifically, “Who Dat Boy,” from Okonma’s 2017 album “Flower Boy.” The song also includes audio from Jerrod Carmichael saying “Sometimes you gotta close a door to open a window.”

Falling in the middle of the album, “A BOY IS A GUN” finds Tyler comparing his love interest to gun ownership in America. With a more soulful vibe than other songs on the album, “A BOY IS A GUN” plays slow, and becomes a tad monotonous toward the final minute.

Unfortunately, the production of “PUPPET” falls short. Even with a nursery rhyme synth melody throughout and a sinister change of beat at the 2:07 mark, “PUPPET” doesn’t resonate like other songs on the album. The song, although only three minutes long, played as if it were five minutes, and offered little substance.

However, Tyler is quick to make listeners forget the shortcomings of “PUPPET.”

“WHAT’S GOOD” is a fast-paced treat where Tyler returns to his rapping roots. The song tapers off in the final seconds, with a touch of piano and Slowthai whispering “I see the light.”

“GONE, GONE / THANK YOU” is a six-minute adventure that stays true to the structure of all of Tyler, The Creator album’s tenth songs since his 2009 mixtape, “Bastard.” CeeLo Green offers uncredited vocals throughout and is backed up by a poppy guitar and booming bass. The song changes pace abruptly midway through, with Tyler turning to rapping over what sounds like a higher-octave turn signal. Although that may not sound appealing, in “GONE, GONE / THANK YOU,” it manages to work.

The second-to-last song of the album, “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE,” falls to the bottom of the pile with “PUPPET.” Dominated by bass and percussion, the song falls flat compared to the songs before it.

“IGOR” ends on a bright note in the form of “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” The swanky, soulful guitar played throughout pairs with dreamy, high-range synth sounds to create an exceptional canvas for Okonma to paint his words on. Pharrell lends his vocals to the song, adding to the soulfulness. The song is a fitting end to Tyler’s most complete album to date, with Tyler closing the song with a mad scream.