Tyler, the Creator’s career is marred with chaos. He is politically incorrect and follows no rules but his own. His latest album, “Cherry Bomb,” is a testament to it.
The album is a sonic jumble filled to the brim with ideas. In fact, the only thing the album is lacking is clarity, something that it desperately needs.
The lyrical content of the album is all over the place. For instance, in the second track “BUFFALO,” Tyler speaks about the past controversies that have surrounded his career since his mainstream debut. The next three songs go on to reveal his need to buckle down and not mess around. While the three songs are logically in place with each other by having similar themes, the jump from emotions is unusual.
On the subject of lyrics, Tyler, the Creator continues to disappoint. The usual gay slurs and sex jokes appear over and over again, as well as his references to controversial figures like Donald Sterling. There is no added excitement to his music, it is just him either complaining or trying to become a better person.
The lack of narrative is another disappointing aspect of the album. Tyler, the Creator’s first three albums were heavily driven by a narrative. While “Cherry Bomb” is not part of the same story that the first three albums were, there is no story whatsoever on “Cherry Bomb.” The album is just a collection of random thoughts that boil down to complaining.
Even though the lyrics are disappointing, the production is marvelous. The diversity shows how much Tyler has grown. Instead of heavy, synth driven songs we see more drums being utilized. The chaotic sound of snares thrashing mixed with crazy synths suits his taste for the crazy. Listeners can hear where he was influenced by other producers and bands like N.E.R.D. and Death Grips.
Another positive for the album is the featured artists. Colombian singer Kali Uchis is prominently featured on the album. Her vocals create a dream-like vibe that help us forget about Tyler, the Creator’s forgettable singing voice. Also featured on the album are Tyler, the Creator’s idols Pharrell, Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West. Lil’ Wayne even had one of the best verses on the album in the song “SMUCKERS.” Schoolboy Q is also featured on the album, marking the second time both artists have appeared on the same song.
Overall, the album is pretty bad. An unfocused lens is ultimately the album’s downfall. Instead of a coherent story, like Tyler, the Creator’s past work, we see a jumble of superficial ideas that are stale. The only redeeming qualities about the album are the featured artists and the production. The few standouts on the album include “SMUCKERS,” “DEATHCAMP” and “The BROWN STAINS OF DARKEESE LATIFAH PART 2 (REMIX).” Randomness does not create a good album, and Tyler, the Creator proves that.