Album Review: Cherry Bomb
With the release of his fourth album titled Cherry Bomb, Tyler, The Creator has been extremely active on twitter promoting and whatnot. Among the various shout outs to his numerous features like Schoolboy Q, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, he presented his 2-million-strong followers with this piece of advice:
LISTEN FROM START TO FINISH. DONT TWEET OR NOTHING. JUST LISTEN. LOUD. IN YOUR ROOM OR CAR RIDE.
— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) April 13, 2015
Consequentially, when I was finished with classes for the day, that’s exactly what I did. Front to back, with no distraction.
My first impressions unfortunately are not so good. From a more technical perspective, this album seems to have some major issues with how it was mastered. Tyler’s vocals are way too low, making it really difficult to understand him over the instrumental, and at some points there appears to be some unintentional distortion present. Tyler is very well known for how basically anything he creates, whether it is a song or a t-shirt, is his idea from the ground up, but I really wish he could have brought in somebody from the outside to help him at least a little bit with the mixing. He did that with Goblin, where he employed the help of Syd Tha Kid, and that album sounded just fine.
Aside from the poor production on the album, the tracks themselves are pretty mediocre. They feel very scatterbrained with how quickly they jump from one melody to the next, and some of the drum patterns sound awkward. A good example of this is in “Buffalo”, where Tyler uses the same sample as Pusha T’s “Numbers On the Boards”. The beat that Tyler comes up with for the sample just sounds off, and I’d prefer to listen to Pusha T’s version any day of the week. Moreover, Tyler’s lyrics (when you can hear them) range from the whimsical to the nonsensical, and there is no real flow from one song to the next. The best example of this is how “Find Your Wings”, a very jazzy and smooth song, transitions to “Cherry Bomb”, a very grungy and scream-o type of song. The album lacks any sort of cohesiveness, which as a whole is one of its biggest flaws.
I really wanted to see this album succeed, making it all the more sadder that I have to call it the first big flop of 2015, when I have such huge respect for Tyler. He almost single handedly revived Supreme into the hype monster that it is today, he has his own clothing line, he’s about to release a new app for Golf Wang media, and he’s only 24 years old. Most importantly, however, is I respect him for being able to produce and put out Bastard at the age of 19 and then Goblin at the age of 21. As someone who produces music and is currently 19, the fact that Tyler released Bastard when he was my age is just awe inspiring to me. Both of those albums were revolutionary for hip-hop when they first came out not only because of how raw and unapologetic they were, but also because how they proved that a kid with a dream and a beat could still make it. My biggest concern heading into the future is that the Tyler who recorded those two albums is gone. He made those two albums when he was going through a very dark period in his life, and now that he’s famous and enjoying success, his music has changed to reflect that. This is not necessarily a bad thing since an artist should make the music he or she wants to make, but it does make me wonder if his core fans will adapt with him or if they will move on.
Find Your Wings – Tyler shows off his knowledge of cord progressions.
Smuckers – Kanye West and Lil Wayne both feature on this track.
Deathcamp – This kind of sounds like a N.E.R.D. song.
image source: Wikipedia