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Sonically speaking, if you’ve heard one of Tyler’s albums, you’ve heard all of them, but that’s because they’re all seemingly connected through a continuous narrative which he has left up to the listener to interpret. On every album he portrays a character with many split personalities (similar to Tyler Durden in Fight Club), except he raps as all of them, so it’s hard to tell which personality he’s portraying at any given time; unless he adds the vocal effects to deepen his pitch when he plays the therapist role. Where this album fits into the plot within the trilogy is a whole other discussion, so I’m just going to write about how this third installment stands on its own. Similar to his previous albums, Tyler still presents us with a mixture of deep, thought-provoking songs as well as some clownish parody bullsh**.
While the first two albums had epic intro tracks with Tyler spilling his mind out, this album starts off with him simply singing “f*** you” followed by a skit, and then we get into it. One thing that’s clear is the technical aspect behind Tyler’s rapping has improved, which should be expected given his young age. He’s also been writing more meaningful songs about his personal life, with “Answer” being about not knowing his dad, and “Colossus” about being overwhelmed by fans whenever he goes out in public; things we’ve all heard before from other rappers, but still good to see him reaching in. One dark point that really stands out on this album is the song “Pigs”, where he raps from the perspective of a kid being bullied (possibly one of his character’s split personalities) who then decides to shoot up his school. Always one to be daring with his subject matter, I think this song really shows the peak of Tyler’s ability to display emotion in his music.
Overall I’d say this album is just as good as any of his other albums, if not better than them. It features some of Tyler’s most ambitious song writing yet, although there are a few songs on here that just don’t do anything for me. He also has songs that are probably meant to be annoying on purpose, which would make the album better if they were simply cut from the project (Tyler’s comedic rapping isn’t so bad, but the annoying hooks and the Odd Future members who can’t rap need to go). If he kept his comedy/parody career separate from his rapping career, he could probably make great rap albums, but I’m sure he’s okay with the sacrifice; the mixture seems to be synonymous with the Odd Future brand.
My Grade (based on how well I connected with it, no disrespect if your experience was different): B
Come back to my blog tomorrow to see which album or mixtape came in at #23 on the countdown!