Picking one particular Tyler, the Creator album instead of just letting all the good, bad, ugly, surprising, funny, dumb, and beautiful elements of that whole Odd Future phenomenon seems like a tough order if you want to personify just what Tyler brought to this strange hip-hop world (and what he carried over from the old one). Suffice it to say that if you first knew him as the sick-joke-enthusiast enfant terrible antagonist of a thousand panicking 2012 thinkpieces, the empathy and desire and regret in his relationship-struggle record IGOR should reverberate with the shock of the perpetually new. What’s left from those old days, fortunately, is the fact that as a musician he operates (and sings) like someone who was never told that The Neptunes and MF DOOM were supposed to serve different markets.

Nate Patrin