Friday, June 17, 2011
Tyler, The Creator – Goblin
Talk about someone who has blown up. When I first started listening to Tyler, The Creator in early 2010, when he first released his debut album Bastard, he and his cohorts in his collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, had barely made a dent in the music world. Now it seems like they are making an asteroid-sized crater on the musical industry. Whether it is from Kanye West tweeting that Tyler created the best music video in 2011, to Diddy saying that they are the future of music, to Sony partnering with the group to create their own label, Odd Future records, it just seems like they are on a high that will never go away. However, Tyler proves on his new release that what glitters isn’t always gold. Goblin is boiling over with Tyler describing his internal struggles with his newfound “fame”, however slight that fame might actually be. The finished product is an album that is long, angry, and sometimes even challenging to listen to, but at the same time rewarding, interesting, and an insightful glimpse into the life of Tyler.
Right off the bat, you can tell that Tyler is not going to change his style just because he has gained a certain level of fame among the musical blogosphere. The title track is a near-seven minute rant about his fame, fortune, friends, fans, mindset, and everything else that just happened to pop into his head. He is just as terse and furious as he was on the opening track on his 2009 album Bastard, not afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve, and let you know that he isn’t impervious to the world around him. He readily admits that he is just a nineteen-year-old kid, not a role model; in fact, this is the very first thing he says on Goblin.
For the most part, this release delivers in every manner possible. There are the typical Tyler songs that are slow, dark, introspective tableaus of self-loathing (Goblin, Nightmare, She, Golden). Then, there are the tracks that are quicker paced, and the beat and lyrics will stay lodged in your brain for days, never mind how morbid or inappropriate those lyrics may be (Transylvania, Sandwitches, Tron Cat, Analog, Her). Also, the fact that he wrote and produced almost all of the songs on the album is incredibly impressive. Tyler makes a giant leap from Bastard to Goblin as a producer. He has found his own sound, and has been slowly perfecting it over the last few years, and it is most certainly showing on this album. Finally, there are tracks that go above and beyond in all aspects.
"Nightmare" is the one track that perfectly sums up the album. The song is a track that, like others on both of his albums, has him talking to his “therapist”, Dr. TC. It is one of the very few tracks on this album that has a hook on it, and it is one of the more depressing hooks I can think of when placed in the context of the song (“I told her I’m her worst nightmare/This is hell you don’t ever got to fight fair/My spirit floats around in the night air/Or in your daydreams, that’s how death seems”). However, then Dr. TC brings up the mysteriously missing OFWGKTA member Thebe Kgositsile, AKA Earl Sweatshirt, and Tyler launches into a rant about parents blaming him for messing up their kids. After this he continues his own downward spiral of self-loathing, with lyrics about drinking to forget his problems (“My nigga Jasper said if I drink and get drunk enough I won’t feel the feelings I be feeling when I sobered up. / But that’s a fucking lie, why would he say that I’m as emotionally strained as Travis when he’s…”), his loss of his missing “brother” Thebe (“Don’t look at me, I’m 6’5” about to fucking cry about another guy”), and his OF brothers leaving LA (“I finally had a family. But, Domo’s in another state, and where the fuck is Riley?”). All in all, “Nightmare” is a perfect summation of the album as a whole.
With Goblin, Tyler, The Creator solidifies his continued rise from a kid rapping for fun with his friends to someone who is perfecting his craft at an alarmingly quick rate. Tyler is already at work on his next album, tentatively scheduled to be called Wolf and to be released in 2012, so he has seemingly not lost any of his hunger to be the best. All we can do is listen to Bastard and Goblin and imagine where he can go from here.
Buy here: Goblin (Deluxe Edition) [Explicit]