Sound: Now because this isn't "rock" it'll likely start a war on the forums, but, hey, it's actually decent. Give it a try. If you're someone who pays attention to the music world, you may have heard of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA). This hip hop/R&B collective is headed by 20 year old (now, 19 when "Goblin" came out) rapper Tyler, The Creator. Now before people go off on the lack of originality in hip hop, this guy plays piano on his tracks, composes all of his own beats, doesn't sample other people's music, produces all his albums, writes his own lyrics, and designed the artwork - a true rarity in modern hip hop. "Goblin" is his second album and Tyler's second session with his therapist (him using vocal distortion). The album uses a lot of shock value in its content, further setting it apart from "modern hip hop". Murder, arson, mayhem, necrophilia, massacring pop musicians, satanism, calling modern rappers f-----ts, and sexism are all covered in the lyrics, needless to say, you won't hear this one on the radio. However, underneath all the gimmicks, this album is the story of a lonely man, only comfortable in revealing his thoughts through his music. Unlike most "gimmick groups" there is actually quite a bit of sustenance to be found beneath it all. // 9
Lyrics: Tyler easily has one of the most recognizable voices. Though it might be difficult to pick one of today's dime-a-dozen rapper's voice out of a bunch of dudes who talk fast over beats, anyone can recognize Tyler's in a heartbeat. His gravely vocals are instantly recognizable in a track. His deep, intimidating voice gives even more power to his "crazy" lyrics. Though he has gimmicks a plenty on this, he knows it, and as a listener, it makes it much easier to listen to when you know he's not serious about the darker portions of the album. "Yonkers" was his first single off the record and it even won him an MTV award. Lyrically, this is one of the most complicated rap songs. He uses multisyllabic rhymes to weave a spell of dark-awe. The lyrics on this song cover pretty much every facet of his life, talking about everything from Def Leppard, to Christianity, to the Flintstones, to pretty much everything. His lyrics often have deeper meanings and are very open to interpretation to those who look into them. He also discusses his group member Earl Sweatshirt, easily one of the best rappers of today, period. To those unfamiliar with Earl's history, here's it in a nutshell. Earl was 15 years old when him and Tyler started Odd Future a few years ago. After Odd Future really got rolling, Earl's mom forced him to retract from the group after hearing the dark music and watching the reckless things the collective did (look up the music video for Earl Sweatshirt's song "Earl" to see how crazy they were). She sent Earl to military boarding school in Somalia, leaving Tyler missing his best friend. This can provide clarity for the lyrics in the song "Golden":
"N----s saying 'Free Earl' without even knowin' him.
See, they're missing the new album, I'm missing my only friend."
The songs "Analog" and "Her" also should be noted for being a lull in the album's insanity as they are simple love ballads... Ish? They are extremely unusual for rap music in general, exposing a brief glimpse through Tyler's exterior into his inner desires. His voice is a perfect fit to his beats, allowing for an easy flow of the music. It also needs to be noted that fellow OFWGKTA member Frank Ocean provides a beautifully creepy R&B hook for the song "She". // 10
Overall Impression: There's not really any modern artist that can be compared to Tyler, except maybe Earl Sweatshirt. The twisted lyrics might not be for everyone, but if you can get past them, then you're in for a memorable album. "Golden", "Yonkers", "Tron Cat", "She", "Analog", and "Sandwiches" are the stand out tracks on "Goblin". // 9