– THE MILITARY COUP –
If you’re easily offended, stop reading. Not because I plan to use fruity language (I may do, but it should be immediately obvious to anyone reading this that I rarely plan anything I write before I write it). But because Tyler Gregory Okonma (as he’s known to his Mum) is a polarising character.
The Odd Future frontman has been criticised in the past for proffering actions and words that are offensive to homosexuals, to women (and, frankly, any of us who believe women are human beings who deserve respect) and even the UK government.
Yes, sadly, Tyler, the Creator has, all-too-frequently in the past been more, ‘Tyler, the Destroyer’.
And maybe you feel that such a chequered history also renders a person’s art inherently unlikable and, if that’s the case, I respect that point of view but I, personally, try to not let me affect my enjoyment of ‘the art’ if at all possible.
I’m particularly of this mind when the controversial artist’s output appears to be exploring and in some way, perhaps, exorcising the very things they’ve been accused of.
That very much appears to be the case with Okonma’s latest record, IGOR. Up until WHAT’S GOOD, it’s mostly a funky, Pharrell-lite affair. But, on track 9 the switch flips.
In come the distorted vocals, the scuzzy bass-lines, the ‘buck wild’ lyrics. It makes for, by far, the most arresting track on the album.
And it’s all for a reason. According to the ‘story’ that accompanies album, this is the part where the protagonist discovers his love interest (note: a man!) is still infatuated with his ex. And so, the evil persona of Igor emerges, mirrored beautifully in the ugly, misshapen form of WHAT’S GOOD.
The key thing is that the song isn’t all muscle and menace. There are moments of genuine sweetness in there, like the six bars of synthesiser interludes in the Bridge / Segue parts after each Chorus. Moreover, it even outros on British rapper slowthai whispering “I see the light”.
It appears to be Tyler, the Creator’s way of accepting that we are all capable of flipping out, of losing our way, of making a monster of ourselves. But that doesn’t mean that’s who we are at our core.
WHAT’S GOOD appears on the album, IGOR which was released last week.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –