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Once rap’s enfant terrible, he reveals some thrilling new tricks on Flower Boy, the rapper/producer blossoming from a prolonged adolescence rife with scattershot shock tactics to an assured auteur, lending the release a woozy consistency underpinned by lyrics that explore alienation, anxiety, confusion, and search for self: 911/Mr. Lonely, Garden Shed, and Boredom are buoyed not by discordant bleeps and boops, but soulful synth surges, lush orchestral sweeps and treacle-smooth croons courtesy of guests Frank Ocean and Estelle, resulting in a release that’s bloomin’ marvelous.
• Tyler, The Creator. Flower Boy. Sony.
• Four and a half stars (out of five)
Single download: Boredom
For those who like: N*E*R*D, Frank Ocean
— John Hayden