Tyler, the Creator, with Vince Staples and Taco; Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m., Broomfield, 1stbankcenter.com
still vividly remember the first time I listened to Tyler, the Creator’s unsettling 2011 breakthrough album, Goblin
, an intermittently misogynist, homophobic, ultraviolent work that I found to be both mesmerizing and, as the artist no doubt intended, disturbing. When the album crept to a close, I realized that the sun had gone down, that I was sitting alone in total darkness, and that the front door may or may not have been unlocked. Tyler, who was all of 19 when he recorded Goblin
, has since transitioned from shock-hop enfant terrible to something else entirely, although it’s hard to say what exactly that is. The Southern Californian’s gangly, loose-limbed persona and goofy sense of humor — two things that kept him from becoming a teenage version of horror-rap act Gravediggaz — are still very much in evidence. But on his fourth and latest studio album Flower Boy
(alternatively titled Scum Fuck Flower Boy
), the shock tactics have actually made room for a more multi-dimensional musicality that, according to one Guardian
critic, captures Tyler “at his least tormented and twisted [with] exquisitely arranged, melodious synth-rap, wistful and reflective, heavy on the heavenly.” Stranger still was last month’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert, which found Tyler comfortably seated at the keyboard, rapping and crooning in his deep baritone, accompanied by a jazz-soul combo complete with female “la-la-la-la-la” backing vocals straight out of the Minnie Ripperton playbook. How that will all translate to the stage is not entirely certain at this point, but will no doubt be interesting regardless.