Amherst Wire

Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ is explosive, yet unimaginative

Andrew Kratochwil, Entertainment Editor

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After a two year hiatus, Odd Future ringleader Tyler, The Creator explodes back on the mainstream hip-hop scene, dropping his new full length album, “Cherry Bomb”.

After amassing a cult following his release of his first full length album, “Goblin,” Tyler and the Odd Future collective continued to drop projects over the next couple years. With projects under his belt like “Goblin” and “Wolf,” Tyler showed the world a new mix of comedy, storytelling, obscene language and horror core in his music.

Yet, today, Tyler reenters the rap world with a brand new album after being relatively quiet for the past two years. “Cherry Bomb,” is a 13 track, dark and demonic fest full of repulsive lyrics typical of Tyler, and some clever bars mixed in as well.

The album starts off with the N*E*R*D inspired track, “DEATHCAMP.”  “DEATHCAMP” is a hard-hitting first track with Tyler spitting some clever and killer bars about how fame wasn’t exactly how he envisioned it. He continues by making an analogy about how he’s “making plates” (writing and recording raps/music) and that those around him are “washing dishes” (slacking, doing his dirty work).

Tyler ends the track by saying, “welcome to deathcamp,” a play on the track name and alluding to the story from his past album, “Wolf.”

After DEATHCAMP,” the album takes a turn in a different direction with “BUFFALO.” With its simplistic beats, complemented by a slow bass drum, mixed with a low-pitched car alarm going in and out, “BUFFALO” is truly a standout song from the album. Although Tyler has his lyrical moments in the song, his repulsive nature takes away from the deeper meaning of some of the content.

“PILOT” continues on the N*E*R*D inspiration route followed closely by “RUN,” a short one-minute track. Both are lackluster but “RUN” finds itself having a clear and defined trap-rap influence, which is very similar to today’s mainstream rap music.

Although tracks like “PILOT” and “RUN” are unimaginative and nothing special, “FIND YOUR WINGS’’ finds itself having a sweet jazz inspired instrumental that melds well with Tyler’s voice. Other tracks like “CHERRY BOMB” and “BLOW MY LOAD” have this cool radio inspired outro, giving the listener a refreshing feeling and adding a new layer to the story of the album.

F****** YOUNG/PERFECT is the album’s standout single and quite possibly the best song on the album. There is some sub par singing at the beginning but the production and Tyler’s verse lead to this being a high moment of the album.

There are definitely some great aspects and moments in Tyler’s album. Thirteen tracks is the perfect length for the album. Where previous albums to include “Goblin” and “Wolf” failed in its longer length, “Cherry Bomb” saves itself through its shorter length.

Additionally, the inspiration from N*E*R*D, the use of soul, funk and jazz samples highlight nicely on tracks including “FIND YOUR WINGS,” “2SEATER” and “OKAGA, CA.”

One of the most interesting aspects of the album is the inclusion of mainstream/non-ODD Future features, most notably Lil Wayne, SchoolBoy Q, and Kanye West. Is this a sign of Tyler selling his creative nature to appeal to more of a mainstream audience? Or rather is this the true artistic direction Tyler is deciding to take his music?

Ultimately, Cherry Bomb finds itself strewn with great ideas that are overshadowed and convoluted by tracks that are unimaginative and are lacking appeal.  Whether it is production, lyrical content or the message behind the music, “Cherry Bomb” is graced with fantastic high moments but also cursed with painful low moments.  Tyler, The Creator certainly brings something refreshing to the table with his attitude and immature nature/mannerisms but it doesn’t translate well to this new album, and frankly where can he go from here?

Andrew Kratochwil can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @AndrewMKUMASS

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Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ is explosive, yet unimaginative