Tyler, The Creator – Goblin


TYLER, THE CREATOR and ODD FUTURE play a sold-out concert at the Phoenix on Sunday (May 15). See listing. Rating: NN

Unless you’ve heard Tyler’s last album, Bastard, you won’t understand this one. That claim – a tweet from the man himself, @fucktyler – is only half true. Unless you’ve heard the fantastic free-for-download Bastard, you won’t understand how badly Tyler messes things up on Goblin.

After a series of insanely hyped homemade albums, it’s understandable that the 20-year-old Angeleno would take creative control on his label debut. But he clutches that control so tightly that the album has turned out insular and ill-conceived.

He talks to his “therapist” in every song, who is revealed to be his conscience at the end. If he’d asked, someone might have informed him that Eminem already did this 15 years ago.

Goblin also starts and ends with Tyler addressing his critics. So instead of going on the offensive – an introduction to the diabolical world of his scary-good rap collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All – Tyler’s debut is paralyzed by hyper-defensiveness.

It all sounds like he’s just more comfortable releasing music for his rabid online audience. Because he made this album, as he also concedes on Twitter, only for himself.

Top track: Yonkers

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