Thematically, anger towards parents/school/authority/peers is nothing too original and extraordinary. However Tyler has taken a few steps further into this ‘marketing goldmine’ and produced an album that is artistically impressive outside of the under 20’s.
After the introduction we really don’t have anything left to say to or about Tyler. Much like Eminem’s final battle in the film 8 Mile, he covers and rebounds all our thoughts and presumptions about him up until now. It allows us to then sit back and listen to his album without further questioning why we should. His talent feeds into, and is developed by, his character/attitude. This cycle seems unstoppable at times, and we listen with fear and fascination as he seems to spiral out of any form of conduct or control we recognize in music or in society.
Musically the production is dark and devastating. Slow in tempo and equally offensive in terms of melody as it glues itself to the concept of the album. Therapy must be as confusing and uncomfortable as this album is to listen to. It’s easy to see why Tyler has garnered such respect and popularity, and it’s impressive that he’s managed to come out of it with a brutally self aware and honest release. It’s a testament to his spirit that he’s even managed to get this released. As he says ‘it’s for the guy in the mirror’.
However personally I believe that music is at it’s best when it inspires or motivates in a positive way. I don’t blame Tyler or hold him responsible; but this self-centered, deeply narcissistic, material-obsessed attitude that clouds the real talent and potential of young people does not need any further encouragement.