Flower Boy by Tyler The Creator is incredible. I will never understand how it came out as well as it did, but just know that Tyler has really stepped up to the plate on this new record. Literally “Find Your Wings”: The Album, Tyler treats this new record with lush instrumentation, neo-soul infused pop and psych-rock passages that lean more on the alternative side than hip hop.
The two singles leading up to this record, “Who Dat Boy” and “911/Mr. Lonely” were both surprisingly exceptional, with the ladder showing Tyler’s major improvement in songwriting skills with soaring, catchy melodies and introspective bars about well, being alone. In fact, on this new record, Tyler talks about loneliness a lot, which only adds to a lot of the mellow and gentle vibes of the record.
Opening with the Can-sampling “Foreword,” Tyler doesn’t waste time to cut to his personal life. He discusses the girls that “gave him occasional head” and “kept his head on straight,” which is alludes to his sexuality, a topic of interest that the media has been unreasonably flipping out over.
Just from this opening track, listeners can already tell that this an entirely new Tyler. Mature, calm, yet more urgent than ever, Tyler shows his absolute full potential on this album. For example, “Where This Flower Blooms” features soaring strings and a pulsing backbeat that allows for Tyler and Frank Ocean, who provides a stellar hook, to jump around on the beat as loosely as possible. These clunky and loud drums loops that weave in out of burnt guitar riffs that are featured on most of the songs are what give the record the summer vibe that’s depicted on the cover.
Again, I need to stress how perfect the instrumentation is here. This is the easily the best sounding work Tyler has ever put together, and songs like “Garden Shed”, with reverbed-soaked distorted guitars, synths, echoing drums and sleazy vocals make for the most touching song the man has ever released.
The only problem I have with the album is that the last couple of songs drag on a bit too long, especially “Glitter”, whose outro could’ve been cut out. However “Enjoy Right Now, Today” leaves the album on a cool note with a fun instrumental that sounds inspired by Childish Gambino’s last record.
Despite this flaw, tracks like the definitive banger “I Ain’t Got Time!”, the touching ballad “See You Again”, and smooth interlude “Droppin’ Seeds” make the record near perfect. Shred any preconceptions, Tyler is here to stay.