I honestly never thought that I'd see Tyler, the Creator, mature musically like he has on his new album, Cherry Bomb. With a track record of outlandish tactics and borderline overboard lyrics, a shift has been hard to see. But it's actually happened and the result is definitely worth a listen.
Cherry Bomb is marked by a calmer, less erratic Tyler. With an injection of maturity and pitched up vocals, he's transformed into a more vulnerable and mellow person. One of the album's running themes is about Tyler being in love, in not one song but four. F*****g Young/Perfect, the most in-depth track, finds Tyler dueting with Kali Uchlis on a tale of his worries over a relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
In terms of his beats (all self-produced), Tyler most notably takes cues from Pharrell's side project N.E.R.D. and Sacramento experimental rap group Death Grips on Deathcamp and Cherry Bomb. N.E.R.D.'s influence also comes through on other tracks, which is no surprise as the group is one of Tyler's personal favorites. Stevie Wonder is also channeled in the intro of Find Your Wings, a standout song.
Cherry Bomb pulls the well-deserved title of Tyler's best album so far. It obviously contains some of the old him that you may or may not like but it branches into another side that was rarely showcased before. It's enough to not alienate his current fans and gain him some new ones. So pitch up your voice and sing more often, Tyler.