Tyler, the Creator – Cherry Bomb
Dare say it, but has Tyler grown up? In his first effort post-WOLF trilogy the breadth of styles undertaken hints at witnessing a transition into more mature themes, even if the lyrics are still stuck in Odd Future mode. Its genre-schizophrenia will be divisive – for example the switch up between the lush Albert Ayler-esque Find Your Wings into the title track’s industrial leanings – but the sequencing creates Cherry Bomb’s atmosphere, distancing the album from feeling like a lazy mixtape.
The problem with this stylistic variety however is that it becomes the listener’s focal point, where certain moments of delight are immediately left behind by the next sharp turn. Fucking Young is a highlight, not only in its Stevie Wonder meets N.E.R.D. allusions but that Tyler shows a conscience when previously it was expected that he would indulge in base subversion. Also with Smuckers, the rollcall of Kanye and Weezy doesn’t disappoint, as Tyler’s woozy production lends itself to their styles perfectly. But ultimately there’s too much going on, and in what looks to be a vintage year for hip-hop, Cherry Bomb quickly scatters rather than leaving behind any indelible statement.