If you thought Flower Boy was a departure from the Tyler, The Creator you knew and loved, Igor has well and truly ridden that wave of change.

Where he's landed is a concept album on a par with the Solanges and Frank Oceans of the world - fitting, considering they were both involved; the former appears on three tracks - in its experimentalism, vocals and exploration of ideas.

Before the album dropped, Tyler released a statement on Twitter warning fans: "Don't go into this expecting a rap album. Don't go into this expecting any album. Just go, jump into it."

He also said the best way to listen to it is to play it all the way through with no distractions - to "sponge it all up" and "fully indulge". It's not the best way to listen to it, so much as the only way.


There aren't any obvious radio bangers anywhere; it is very much a fully formed piece as Tyler navigates love, heartache and recovery from a space more self-aware and honest than ever before.

The story kicks in on Earfquake, where he croons: "Don't leave / it's my fault" over and over like a prayer and continues on throughout the album with a raw vulnerability we almost never see from men in hip-hop.

Any ambiguity over his sexuality is also totally gone as Tyler leans into his truth.

On Running Out of Time - which references Frank Ocean - he talks about a lover who has left him for a woman, imploring him to: "Take your mask off/ Stop lyin' for these n***as/ Stop lyin' to yourself/ I know the real you"; this theme is followed up on Gone, Gone / Thank You where he says, "I hope you know she can't compete with me" and adds: "You never lived in your truth / I'm just happy I lived in it / But I finally found peace, so peace".

On I Think, he references the cult film Call Me By Your Name; and on A Boy Is a Gun he speaks of his desire for a boy "sweet as sugar", begging him to "Make your f***in' mind up / I am sick of waitin' patiently".

Tyler brings in an impressive raft of celebrity cameos including Solange, Santigold, Pharrell, Kanye West and Frank Ocean but they blend in seamlessly and never overpower him - each song after all, was written produced and arranged by Tyler himself.

This is his album, his truth and his vision, and while it may be a slower, more winding ride than we're used to, the scenery is gorgeous.

Tyler the Creator, Igor

Artist: Tyler the Creator
Album: Igor
Label: Sony Music
Verdict: Tyler sets the mad scientist loose on Igor.