By Andrew Ayala
Tyler the Creator’s latest release, “Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Suess’ The Grinch,” is filled with holiday inspired music and works as a modern version of a classic Christmas album.
Although holiday albums were once something a lot of major artists would make in the past, nowadays it is rare for one of today’s most prominent artists to make music of this nature for a younger generation.
The Extended Play record includes six songs with a 10 minute run time which keeps it short, sweet and straight to the point.
Immediately, listeners are hit with “Whoville,” the opening track sounds like it came from a “Peanuts” Christmas special on a cold winter morning. The soft and subtle sounds of the piano along with the addition of holiday bells and horns make this a perfect way to begin.
Those who aren’t so familiar with the artist get to see first-hand what he is all about and how in tune he gets with his beats and sound selection.
“Lights On” features American singers Ryan Beatty and Santigold. This song in particular sounds like it belongs in the speakers of a department store as presents are being chosen, cards are being swiped and cash is being exchanged.
It has great singing from all three artists as well as a repeating beat, which is catchy. The harmonious voices of all three artists make this track upbeat and gives listeners a warm feeling. The use of synths takes listeners back, giving a feeling of nostalgia. “Santigold” adds a classic feel due to her powerful voice on the hook.
Ryan Beatty and Tyler the Creator compliment one another during their verses and attack the song with a nice mix of a light and soft voice along with raspy roughness that goes together like the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
A song with a softer tone and feel is “Hot Chocolate” which features another American songwriter and producer named Jerry Paper. The musical genius of both artists make this a great fusion for those cold mornings or nights when a cup of hot chocolate is needed. The slow pace remains constant through the whole two minutes and hearing Paper say “It’s christmas time” in a low and deep tone are the icing on top of a gingerbread house.
Listeners are almost taken into a hybrid world with the minds and visions of Suess and Tyler as they listen and get lost in the musical magic. It’s interesting to hear an artist make a song which comes off as an ode to something that people of all ages love and gather around to share. This has always been the style of Tyler the Creator, since he always strays away from the norm to create something that can be seen as a masterpiece to those who appreciate different sounds.
For those who love the lyrics and flow of Tyler the Creator, “Big Bag” is the song that presents this. Although he raps and keeps a central theme of the holidays, listeners can hear Tyler speak of his past and present with wordplay that is almost unmatched.
This is one of the songs which embodies his style of music that fans are used to hearing which is also pleasing. He has never been an artist to go along with trends or follow the styles of artists, so hearing a song that has holiday references in true Tyler the Creator nature is almost as good as a gift under the tree.
The EP ends in the same instrumental manner in which it began, and gives off those calm Christmas vibes. Artists tend to stick to what they know but the beauty of this artist is his venture into the unknown.
Along with him working on some of the songs from “The Grinch,” it was great for him to go on and create this EP on his own to prove how versatile and different he can be.
Overall, people who love music and aren’t necessarily fans of Tyler the Creator can enjoy this album due to its holiday references and intricate beats. The EP was released on Nov. 16 and is available to listen across multiple platforms.