If ‘Igor’ – the Grammy award winning, critically acclaimed, number 1 album – was Tyler, The Creator trying new and adventurous things; seeing how far he could push himself out of his comfort zone without losing his magic, ‘Call Me If You Get Lost’ is a fantastical return to form; it sees Tyler largely return to his wheelhouse; returning to old tricks but performing them better and more effortlessly than ever.
Album highlight ‘Manifesto’ is, from the first line, an instant throwback to Tyler, the provocateur of old (“Lil white bitch gon’ say / ‘You need to say something about that’… / Bitch suck my-“). But across it’s three minutes, the track unfolds into something much greater; it’s, well, a manifesto; a reminder that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones (don’t lecture others on politics when “you just followin’ your mammy”). It’s also surprisingly reflective too; Tyler goes back to when he was “tryna fuck Bieber, Just-in” and apologies for a series of offensive tweets he sent to Selena Gomez.
‘Manifesto’ encapsulates the greatest elements of ‘Call Me…’, a near-career best for the versatile rapper; it’s visceral, eclectic, self-assured and effortlessly incorporates it’s featured artist without Tyler ever losing control over the track and it’s direction. ‘Call Me…’ is packed with career highlights for Tyler; from the psychedelic epic ‘Sweet / I Thought You Wanted To Dance’, the bombastic ‘Lumberjack’ and the quietly affecting ‘Massa’.
The Tyler of new doesn’t care about ruffling feathers anymore than the Tyler of a decade ago, but his fiery bars and lyricism is rooted in something deep, personal and foundational. ‘Lumberjack’ could, at first, be dismissed as yet another braggadocious rap song, but as Tyler recalls the hardship of his ancestors (“Whips on whips, my ancestors got they backs out”), it becomes apparent that his all-caps boasting is actually reflective of a gratitude and pride that reflects coming out the other end of generations of oppression. ‘Massa’ – another highlight – meanwhile reflects that, for Tyler, fame and wealth isn’t just about materialistic flexing but making a better life for himself and his loved ones (“I’m not that little boy y’all was introduced to at 19 / Mom was in the shelter when ‘Yonkers’ dropper, I don’t say it / When i got her out, that’s the moment I knew I made it”). The track also contains some heart-aching lyrics seemingly about Tyler’s much-talked about sexuality (“Everyone I ever loved had to be loved in the shadows”). He concludes on the track “I’m not that little boy y’all was introduced to at 19” and ‘Call Me If You Get Lost’ proves that he certainly isn’t; a decade on from ‘Goblin’ he is now, more than ever, at his artistic peak.
Best Tracks: ‘Manifesto’, ‘Lumberjack’, ‘Wusyaname’, ‘Corso’, ‘Massa’, ‘Sweet / I Thought You Wanted To Dance’