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Flower Boy

by Tyler, the Creator

Released July 21, 2017 via Columbia Records

Reviewed July 28, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
911 / Mr. Lonely (78%), See You Again (53%), Boredom (41%)

This project was interesting to say the least, truly dissecting the psyche of a celebrity many felt they already knew. On tracks like "911 / Mr. Lonely,” Tyler discusses how he struggles with feelings of isolation and distance from those around him. He also develops this commentary on the track "Boredom.” What is most surprising about this album is how gentle it sounds. Tyler is famous for producing really loud, metallic, scratchy music that he makes intentionally difficult to listen too. This project, aside from songs like "I Ain't Got Time" and "Who Dat Boy,” is rather serene, creating a great atmosphere. Tyler himself says the music is meant to be heard during the golden hour of the sunset, and that couldn't be more fitting. Phenomenal features from Frank Ocean (of course), Steve Lacyy, Rex Orange County, Anna of the North, and many more, create an authentic, quirky vibe in the music that complements Tyler's distinguished verses beautifully. What really makes this project shine though, is the AMAZING production quality. No one who has ever listened to Tyler the Creator or Odd Future prior to this could have expected such relaxed instrumentals and restraint in instrument choice. No notes go without complement and harmony. Most importantly, the order of the tracks is on point with this project, a detail many overlook. The flow of emotion and sound is like honey on this most impressive album. – Daniel (9.3/10)

Flower Boy is something of a transitional album from Tyler, the Creator, with it venturing into more focused and less reactive territory. Musically speaking, Flower Boy is more mature; bringing in elements of soulful and soothing etiquette, Tyler's fourth studio album lets the music speak for itself. No longer are shock rap pastures called upon to make a statement. These seas are of a soothed mind. A turn in the tides of intent makes Flower Boy a revelation, while a sense of focused direction gives it replay value and a cohesion which previous projects lacked. The potential to spin loose is still firmly there, but more within arm’s reach of quality. Flower Boy is the culmination of forward steps and a large leap in artistic merit. Honing in on the craft of song and its possibilities outside of turning heads, Flower Boy signaled a change in attitude and maturity in Tyler, the Creator's career. Things seemed to get more well-rounded and thought through from here on out. A deeper purpose was pursued, in a sense. – Peter (8.5/10)

Hadley: 9.5/10 | Daniel: 9.3/10 | Ben (Synth): 9/10 | Jared: 9/10

Alan: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 8.5/10 | Peter: 8.5/10 | DeVán: 8/10

Pablo: 8/10 | Pax: 8/10 | Cam: 7.8/10

Community Reviews:

This could be a modern-day Pet Sounds, but it deserves to stand on its own. Flower Boy’s exploration into love, growth and loneliness are unique and frank. However, it’s the writing, variation of styles and relatability that makes Flower Boy a classic. Tyler may have been struggling to know himself, but he certainly knew his audience. – @maxrosk (10/10)

The step forward that Tyler always needed to take, Flower Boy acted as the pivotal step for him to truly transition himself from his almost hardcore hip-hop beginnings to a much more vibrant neo-soul artist. – @kade_homa (9.5/10)

In many regards, this is where the Tyler we know and love today was born. While Tyler’s previous projects were ambitious and edgy, the gimmick wasn’t gonna last forever. I think Tyler knew this as well, so we were given an artistic evolution that would spawn plenty of iconic moments in modern hip-hop. From the explosive energy of “Who Dat Boy,” with ASAP Rocky, the show-stopping performance of “See You Again,” with Kali Uchis, and the vulnerability that Tyler presents on “911/Mr. Lonely,” Flower Boy checks all the boxes for timeless quality. This album not only birthed many fantastic songs, but it gave Tyler a truly fleshed-out aesthetic that no rapper has dawned. Fast forward five years, Tyler is still kicking ass with the perfection of IGOR and the summer fun that is Call Me If You Get Lost. Flower Boy truly blossomed a side of Tyler that will go down as a modern classic. – (9/10)

Who doesn't love Flower Boy? An insanely catchy and endearing collection of neo-soul tunes and Tyler's best verses. – @andre_vital_pardue (8.9/10)

A fantastic combination of Tyler’s influences, past work and modern sounds driven by personal and artistic growth and maturity. Although some songs say little to nothing or are completely skippable, the atmosphere and message create a melancholy sense of self-reflection in the final track. – @frank.zygm (8.5/10)

Overall, a very great LP. Tyler explores a brand new range of sounds and perfects his old ones. Listening to the project in its entirety is a very pleasant listen, thanks to the various transitions throughout it—with the best one being “Boredom” to “I Ain't Got Time!.” These synth-heavy yet refreshing sounds turned out to be the signature of Tyler, with his follow-up, IGOR filled with these sounds too. – @eliotoroute (8/10)


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