Tyler, the Creator // Flower Boy
Tyler finally outshines his collaborators and the controversies that once defined him.
Tyler, the Creator
Odd Future Records
There are plenty of things one could expect from a Tyler, the Creator album that I would not hold against them. While each new album from the divisive California MC has improved upon the last, Tyler's maturity (and use of slurs) often made his unique, self-produced experiments a tough pill to swallow. What no one expected from him was a gorgeous, neo-soul influenced album that embraces storytelling and colorful metaphors to discuss topics spanning love, loneliness, and sexuality - but that's exactly what he's given us on his fifth LP, Flower Boy. In his most restrained release yet, the tension is palpable, with Tyler really only letting loose a few times ("911 / Mr. Lonely," "November"). The culmination of this is of course "Garden Shed," a beautiful ambient track marked by chorus-laden guitars that find Tyler waiting for the song's final minute dive into one of the most important verses he's ever delivered. It's a moment that's representative of Flower Boy as a whole, a creative and personal peak that finds Tyler finally outshining his collaborators and the controversies that once defined him.
— Aaron Mook