Flower Boy

(By Ashley Flamenco)

“Flower Boy,” marketed as “Scum Fuck Flower Boy,” is Tyler, The Creator’s fourth studio album and it’s even better than I expected.

I believe that the point of the “Scum Fuck Flower Boy” title is to juxtapose Tyler’s two alter egos: “Scum Fuck” and “Flower Boy.” “Scum Fuck” is kind of like the more vulgar silly side of Tyler while “Flower Boy” is his more mature emotional persona. But I don’t really see these two sides conflicting very much on the album, instead it seems that it serves as an introduction to this new “Flower Boy.”

The album starts off with “Foreword,” a song that brings up worries about losing motivation as an artist (“How many cars can I buy ’til I run out of drive?”) and having suicidal thoughts (“And if I drown and don’t come back/ Who’s gonna know?”), setting the stage for the intimacy and personal subjects that lie within the rest of the record.

Songs off the album are much softer than something you’d normally expect from Tyler such as “See You Again,” a sweet love song about someone who lives in Tyler’s fantasy, featuring Kali Uchis’ elegant and soulful voice, and “Glitter,” another upbeat ballad about Tyler confessing his love to someone. But you still get a bit of loud upbeat vulgarness, that we’re used to hearing from him, in “I Ain’t Got Time” and “Who Dat Boy.”

“Flower Boy” differs very much, style wise, from previous projects such as “CHERRY BOMB” which had many different distorted sounds that were kind of just clashing together and though, this album also uses an array of sounds, it’s done in a way that’s much smoother. “Garden Shed,” by far my favorite track, is an example of the amazing instrumentation used on the album because it has the most melodious ethereal guitar riffs, making it so beautiful. Also, you don’t get the angry or amusing tones here that you get from his past work. Instead, we see a more emotional and serious side of Tyler which is why so many critics say that he’s matured.

Something else that I’ve noticed are the really catchy lyrics and beats he uses in tracks like “911/Mr. Lonely” where chorus lyrics, “call me sometime/ please ring my line,” are repeated over and over, making it tempting to sing along.

Sensitive topics are often brought up in his lyrics including loneliness, using material items to fill a void within himself, depression, falling in love, nostalgia, his sexuality and personal growth. In “Where This Flower Blooms,” featuring Frank Ocean’s vocals, Tyler tells us about his rise to stardom, going from a poor kid with only dreams to making those dreams a reality, and how fame has changed him as a person. We can see that Tyler is dealing a lot with self-discovery and growth.

The album finishes off with an outro of a groovy colorful four minute instrumental that includes keyboard, violin, and a repetitive beat. It’s nice to see (or hear) the album ending on quite a positive note.

Lyrically and instrumentally, this album was produced very well so I don’t really have anything negative to say about it. You can tell that there was so much more work put into this one from the deep more meaningful lyrics, to the beats and incorporation of new instruments and sounds. I must say that this is Tyler’s most beautifully crafted work yet and definitely one of my favorite albums of the year.

My favorite songs:

Garden Shed

See You Again

911/ Mr. Lonely

Where This Flower Blooms

 

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