Tyler, the Creator: Cherry Bomb

A shock-rap renegade lightens up, sort of, on Album Four

Credit: Scott Dudelson/FilmMagic/Getty

After a trilogy of sonically bleak, ostentatiously psycho albums, Odd Future's leader has flipped his nihilistic glower into a sinister smile. Featuring cameos by jazz fusion OG Roy Ayers, Lil Wayne and Kanye West, Tyler's self-produced new one flows from the Neptunes tribute "Deathcamp" to the summery whimsy of "Find Your Wings" and "Fucking Young." Tyler still spends at least half his rhymes reminding us how few fucks he gives, and his bright new sound often comes spiked with petulant noise. But a certain humanity peeks through: "I'm raisin' the stakes/Mom, I made you a promise: It's no more Section 8." What a sweetie.