The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Born under the Capri sun in a tiny boat, Tyler, The Creator’s sixth studio album Call Me If You Get Lost was released on June 25, 2021, through Columbia Records. With passengers like Frank Ocean, Lil Uzi Vert, Pharrell Williams and Lil Wayne riding its tracks and kaleidoscopic sounds that fluctuate between reggae and jazz to stripped back hip-hop and bossa nova, the album debuted on the top of the Billboard 200.
Produced by the Grammy winner rapper himself alongside Jay Versace and Jamie xx, Call Me If You Get Lost is 52 minutes long, a time spaced out in 16 tracks – and in Geneva waters and leaning houses.
Drawing inspiration from Charles Baudelaire – the author of Les Fleurs du mal once censured for being too explicit -, Tyler’s newest character Tyler Baudelaire is introduced and sets the concept for this record with kicking-off track Sir Baudelaire: as the lyrics “travellin’ the world / passport stamped up” are sang alongside DJ Drama’s narration (which is a constant throughout the tracks), the tale of Tyler Baudelaire begins to unravel.
From the early 1900s-influenced travel card that stamps the cover to the Lumberjack and Wusyaname music videos, Call Me If You Get Lost’s aesthetic is established and ambiences a synesthetic experience, visual and, especially, songwise. Lively rhythms, sound effects, pianos and trumpets are just like Tyler Baudelaire: suave and weirdly tropical or foreign.
This journey is akin to the artist’s previous works: in Flower Boy (2017), remarkably one of Tyler, The Creator’s most famous works, Tyler compares his progress as a person and musician to a flower blooming. And rightfully so: with lyrics that talk about self-discovery and fears, it split the waters in his career and led him to a more artistically complex path, from the sunflowers, dreamy MVs down to the production.
But, whereas in Flower Boy’s Where This Flower Blooms Tyler skrrts in California in toys he only dreamed he could afford, in Lumberjack the “Rolls Royce pull up / black boy hop out” and might “sled in Utah / LA too warm”. The imagery of his car, strongly present in Flower Boy as he sings
“How many cars can I buy till I run out of drive?”— FOREWORD, Flower Boy (2017)
, is abandoned, and now we talk about getting lost. Yet, Lumberjack and Corso actually evoke bits of his past discography, making us remember his Cherry Bomb (2015) era, with rawer raps – although he changed a little since then, as he said in the last verse, “I don’t even like using the word “bitch” / It just sounded cool”.
Tyler, The Creator also evolves his already existent ability of making long songs – which is a feat in itself, for they are only getting shorter – this time. Tracks with two parts like GONE, GONE / THANK YOU and F*CKING YOUNG / PERFECT were already masterfully crafted and produced, but Tyler takes this to a whole new level with SWEET / I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE.
Admittedly the artist’s favorite song of this album, SWEET / I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE is almost 10-minutes long. He wrote it in a couple of days and tells the story actually wrote itself in the sounds. The sounds, though, and intricate: merging reggae, underlying harmonies, instrumentals and French, this is the song that stands out and best explains Call Me If You Get Lost. It’s, simply put, outstanding, and among his best works so far.
Even how the tracks complement each other, one beginning where the other ended, shows how detailed and thought out this project is. I don’t know how else to put it, but if Wes Anderson’s movies were music, this is what they would sound like.
Call Me If You Get Lost is unexpected, creative, and an hour long vacation to the Alps or dr. Seuss’ lands. Unmatched in his game, Tyler, The Creator showed with this comeback that he is nowhere near lost; rather, he keeps rocking, rolling, blooming and growing towards a greater destination. This time somewhere in Geneva or Capri, though.