Tyler, The Creator has returned with his new album Call Me If You Get Lost. Like clockwork, it comes two years after the release of IGOR - a timeline that Tyler generally sticks to. He's spent the last few weeks teasing the record with a hotline, video teasers and the single LUMBERJACK but now it's here in its 16-track glory.
These are our first thoughts while listening to the album, his longest since Goblin.
This Is A Rap Record
When Tyler released IGOR back in 2019 he tweeted, "DON'T GO INTO THIS EXPECTING A RAP ALBUM." He then collected the Grammy for Best Rap Album and called it "a backhanded compliment." As far back as 2014, he's made it clear that he doesn't really like rapping, but it seems that he's backflipped on that with Call Me When You Get Lost. This is a rap-heavy record. In fact, there's almost no song on the album where Tyler leaves rap out of it. That's a stark contrast to IGOR that contained only 41.5% of rap, according to Hip Hop Numbers.
Meet Mr. Baudelaire
There's a new character to meet on this record - Tyler Baudelaire. “He goes by the name of The Creator but you can call him Tyler Baudelaire," announced DJ Drama at the start of the record. Baudelaire seems to be a train and boat hopping man of mystery. There's no doubt that this record is personal, however, so Baudelaire seems to stand more as an aesthetic alter-ego more than anything else.
It's All Written & Composed By Tyler
Once again, Tyler has written and composed the album by himself. You won't find another producer on the credits here which is wild considering all the trips that Tyler takes on this. He moves through jazz, industrial rap, '80s R&B, and Caribbean sound throughout the record. Another stunning achievement by a producer whose head is a music box.
Friends, Old And New
With each Tyler album, he adds a few more collaborators to his toolkit. Tyler's albums are always guest-heavy whether they're used prominently or distantly (like on IGOR). Here, he brings in a lot of old favourites. Domo Genesis, who has been featuring on Tyler records since his debut Goblin is here. Meanwhile, both Pharrell and Lil Wayne appear - they're both longtime heroes for Tyler and have featured on multiple records. Lil Uzi Vert also reappears here after delivering an off-kilter feature on IGOR's Igor's Theme.
The new names represent the new guard of hip-hop and R&B. Fans were surprised to see YoungBoy Never Broke Again included on the credits for WUSYANAME. Less surprising is the inclusion of 42 Dugg who drew high praise from Tyler last year for his collaboration with Lil Baby We Paid.
He's Still A Wes Anderson Stan
Tyler has always been vocal about his favourite filmmaker is Wes Anderson. He turned up to the Grammys at the beginning of 2020 in an outfit that felt like it was lifted straight from The Grand Budapest Hotel and that aesthetic is carried across into Call Me If You Get Lost. The videos that have trickled through from this project so far have nods to Anderson too, particularly Brown Sugar Salmon. We know how much Anderson loves a train and some luggage and it seems Tyler does too.
"This Shit For The Sunseekers"
Apologies to those in the Southern Hemisphere but this is a summer record. "This shit for the sunseekers," DJ Drama declares on the opener Baudelaire and that theme continues throughout the album. It seems to have been inspired by trips to Europe with Tyler noting on CORSO that he wants to buy a boat in Capri. On one of the most summery cuts, DJ Drama asks, "Still on the boat?" The likely answer is, "yep". Meanwhile, on Hot Wind Blows he's in Geneva on a Yacht. No matter how hard the raps get, there's a strong feeling of summer and travel infused into this record. It's refreshing given how still the world has been for the past year.
He Fell In Love Again
On IGOR, Tyler fell in and out of love with some of his most poignant, honest writing to date. Call Me If You Get Lost's love narrative is looser but it's still clear that he's fallen in love. On SWEET, he declared, "You and I, we fell in love." By the song's second part I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE, however, it's already slipping away as Tyler notes he's "alone". "What makes you think I'm not in love?" he sings. On WILSHIRE, he's telling a story of falling in love with someone who was already in a relationship. "He left for some days, I cleared out my sched', I cleared out my head," he raps. It's a similar story that he told before the album drop with some of his album teasers.