Photo credit sabrinaislatina/Flickr
By Colleen Mertes
Tyler the Creator had some interesting choices in his latest album “Cherry Bomb.” They were not all bad. In fact, most of them were welcomed. But the album isn’t cohesive or coherent.
He mixed jazz and classical instruments, like the violin, in with his music and it’s welcome to hear rap playing with other genres. Rap has a lot of freedom and can lend itself to adapt to other musical genres, but the music he plays with is on level with elevator jazz. The few tracks that use this, sound completely out of their element in midst of more traditional sounding tracks.
Another refreshing concept was just plain voices found in between the rapping. Just plain talk. It’s strange at first, but it’s an honest and real addition to the album. A bit of personal touch. Also, it was entertaining to listen to.
One choice that is not of any welcome nor brilliance, is the use of static combined in the music- which is very jarring to the ear. It sounds as if something is wrong with the headphones or Spotify. The static overwhelms the music and kills the beat.
The album has a few gems- albeit a little gritty and rough. “F-ing Young/Perfect” paints a picture of an issue seen a lot. He sings about how he met a girl and how he’s crazy about her- but she’s six years younger than him. The girl says don’t worry about it, it’s only me and you that matters. But Tyler can’t help but think about the trouble she could bring him. The lyrics are simple and poignant, such as “Six year difference is a ten year sentence.” One of the best tracks in the album.
One of the worst is “Find Your Wings“, which has no place in this album. It’s closer to elevator music than rap. There is 1 minute and 20 seconds of interlude of soft jazz before any voice. Even when the voice does come in, the soft and garbled singing is unmemorable. This track is like eating a bite of cheesecake while you’re trying to eat a taco.
The album wasn’t a complete flop. It had some great ideas, but more often than not they were poorly executed. The tracks didn’t compliment one another - they would have fared better if he had released them as singles, and not released some at all. Cherry Bomb wasn’t the bomb in any sense, but it wasn’t abhorrent. The album simply needs more refining and finesse to be a star.