So I feel most would agree that while Christmas is one of the best times of year, the music can get quite repetitive. I mean, all we ever hear is Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, Justin Bieber’s “Drummer Boy” and Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me” and while there is nothing really wrong with this, its been the same songs for years and I know I’m in the need for something new. Now, good thing Tyler, the Creator has my back and has released a Christmas-Grinch themed EP just in time. The EP is only 10 minutes with 6 songs but doesn’t include “You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch” (my 2018 Christmas anthem) or “ I Am the Grinch” which are featured on the soundtrack for the new animated Grinch movie. So let’s take a look of what Tyler has brought us this Christmas. 

Now as I said before the EP has only 6 tracks and like most EPs the first is just an intro. The intro track is called “Whoville” after the iconic village featured in the Grinch. The song starts off with your standard piano chord progression but as the song progresses little details are involved and build up to the end of the song. For example after a couple rounds of the chord progressions a little melody is introduced, then little bells are brought in, then the synths and then what sounds like a xylophone with some percussion and it all crescendos until an abrupt stop at the end when the next song begins. Now, generally I’m not a big fan of these intro tracks because I find most quite basic but Tyler was able to capture and create such a vivid mood in only a minute which really set the tone for the EP so props to him.

The song that follows is “Lights On” featuring Ryan Beatty and Santigold. I think this is one of the best songs on the EP because the melody resembles your typical Christmas song but with the beat added in the background it gives it more of a modern style. I also think it has a really catchy tune which will 100% be stuck in my head for the next week or two. Lyrically I interpreted the song as being about a relationship where the girl is alone at home around Christmas time and the boy is talking about how he’s rushing home and even though it may take a while he’s on his way to her. I think it’s actually a really cute song and definitely one of my favourites. 

Track 3 is “Hot Chocolate” featuring Jerry Paper and is very fitting for this time of the year. Again, keeping with the Christmas theme, the melody resembles a Christmas carol and the intro even incorporates some bells but the added production shows that it belongs in the modern alternative music era. I think this is one of the songs that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside because it’s very simply about making a hot chocolate and drinking it by the fire surrounded by friends at Christmas time. Tyler is able to depict the ideal way to spend your holidays surrounded by friends and I think this song is quite beautiful in its simplicity.

Next is “Big Bag” and is the typically Tyler, the Creator sound we all know and love. The melody and beat is quite typical of Tyler, with a lot of rapping and an upbeat rhythm that was heard a lot on his last album “Flower Boy”. The “Big Bag” in the song refers to Santa’s sack full of presents and Tyler talks about how he didn’t really have a Santa Claus because his mum worked so he was wrapping his own gifts. However, in the second verse the point of view changes and Tyler raps from the point of the view of the Grinch and talks about stealing the presents of other kids. I think this contrast is really interesting because it shows the different ways people grow up around Christmas, you know, some didn’t have the typical childhood Christmas as they couldn’t afford it where others grew up with a very wealthy lifestyle and almost have this feeling of entitlement around the holidays and I think this contrast, whether intended or not, is a very clever thing to have included in the EP. I also love the common theme of the Grinch as that’s my favourite Christmas movie. 

The next track is “When Gloves Come Off” featuring Ryan Beatty again. This one is very similar to “Hot Chocolate” in that identical instruments are used but with a different melody. This one is more of a transitional track rather than a song because it’s very melodic based with vocal harmonies and runs by Ryan Beatty and few actual words being sung. This one is probably a skip for me as I generally prefer more lyrically based songs but if you’re into instrumentals this might be the one for you.

The final track on the album is “Cindy Lou’s Wish”, named after the little girl from the Grinch. This song too is purely instrumental with no words at all. When I first listened to it, I’ve got to say I was a little disappointed. For the last track of the album I was expecting the perfect Christmas track to top off the album so having an instrumental was a bit anticlimatic. I could see why Tyler would have chosen an instrumental as a closing track, to almost fade the album to its end but i would have prefered a more upbeat ending. There’s not much to say about the track in general as its very similar to the rest of the album. The same instruments used with even a very similar sounding melody, much like “Lights On” and “Hot Chocolate”. Most of the songs sound relatively similar so that’s why I found this one a but of a let down because I was craving something new.

Overall I really enjoyed the album, disregsrding the last two tracks. My favourite though is definitely “Lights On” because it just puts you in the Christmas spirit. So I would definitely recommend listening to this album this holiday season, maybe you’ll find a song will become one of your yearly favourites. 

Jacinta Blue

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