IGOR Vinyl Arrives! (Correction and Apologies to MRP)

This story has been corrected and updated to reflect the fact that the standard IGOR pressing is from United Record Pressing and NOT Memphis Record Pressing, which because of our error has received some nasty emails from AP readers. Apologies to MRP. We have egg on our faces_ed.

As I approached the check-out counter at Music Millennium with a standard black vinyl copy of IGOR, I told the cashier about my endless obsession with this album. “Don’t get too obsessed with these things,” he said.

“I’m afraid it’s too late,” I replied.

Indeed, it’s too late; I’ve totally gone off the deep end while obsessing over Tyler, the Creator’s 2019 masterpiece IGOR. I bought the Golf Wang t-shirt bundle (for the shirt that has “GOLF” in the IGOR font on the front), the limited edition mint-colored vinyl with the alternate Lewis Rossignol artwork (aka the copy of IGOR that’s yet to arrive), the standard retail CD (sorry, I don’t have the limited edition CDs with the alternate covers), the concert tickets to the 10/14 Portland show (despite Ticketmaster’s egregious “fees,” I happily paid for the tickets and am super hyped for the show), and now, the standard black vinyl. And I haven’t even downloaded the 44.1/24 files, bought the cassette (that’s for my next trip to Music Millennium) nor chased the “faceless” picture disc on eBay (I didn’t preorder it because, well, it’s a picture disc, but the completist in me needs it now).

Before I get into the sound and packaging quality of the standard vinyl edition, it’s worth noting that several Tyler interviews surfaced since I wrote about the physical albums’ addition of “BOYFRIEND.” There are two interviews by journalists (for The Face and The Guardian) as well as an interview conducted by Rick Rubin for Broken Record podcast. The latter is by far the most insightful; Tyler and Rick are off the grid at a vacation home in the Italian countryside, talking in-depth about the musical composition of “IGOR’S THEME,” “EARFQUAKE,” “I THINK,” “RUNNING OUT OF TIME,” and “A BOY IS A GUN.” While the lyrical content is glossed over, it’s still a fascinating listen and demonstrates Tyler’s rarely rivaled attention to detail in his work. There’s enough about this album for me to write a book about it, but that’s for another time!

The LP edition’s sound quality, although not bad, is a bit disappointing. US pressings are handled by United Record Pressing, while European copies are pressed at GZ. The limited edition "mint" pressing is by Memphis Record Pressing, an arm of GZ Media and that edition has not yet arrived. Scott Sedillo (whose scribe is “SS”) at Bernie Grundman Mastering cut lacquers for both pressings on the same system used by Grundman and Chris Bellman. (My copy suffered major "stitching" defects_ed..

I’m scoring this an 8 for sound. But didn’t you give the CD a 9? Yes! The reason I’m giving the vinyl a lesser score is because there are more problems thus far. I’m not necessarily saying the CD sounds better, just that the vinyl isn’t up to the high expectations.

Speaking of not living up to expectations, the packaging is a greater disappointment. Both sides of the gatefold design are good, especially the inside with all the credits as well as the picture of Tyler in the IGOR costume. However, the cardstock is surprisingly thin and susceptible to spine creases (not the worst, but far from great), and instead of a lyrics sheet or the promised printed inner sleeve, we get a thin 12”x12” insert with grainy reproductions of the Tyler as IGOR picture as well as the album cover. Oh, and there are poorly placed photo credits in tacky fonts on the sheet as well. It feels a bit cheap for a $25 single LP, especially considering that, for only $5 more, Vampire Weekend’s recent double LP Father Of The Bride (also released on Columbia) has a high-quality direct-to-board gatefold with 36”x24” poster (except the poster is too big for the jacket’s pockets) and RTI-pressed LPs. Still, don’t let the somewhat lackluster URP vinyl pressing stop you from buying IGOR, as it’s more than worth your time.

(Malachi Lui is an AnalogPlanet contributing editor, music lover, audiophile, and record collector who will have way too many copies of IGOR, and for that matter, probably already does. Follow him on twitter @MalachiLui.)

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Bluejimbop's picture

That’s one of the scariest photos I’ve ever seen.

Tom L's picture

in St. Louis. Here's a link to Kevin Johnson's concert review. Of course, don't read it if you want to be surprised at the show...


MalachiLui's picture

I've already seen all of the highlights on twitter so it's not like that article spoiled the show or anything. thanks for posting it!

Anton D's picture

Tyler is in the top rank.

My son and I were chatting about who we'd rank higher, Kendrick, or Tyler: Tyler won.

This is a true golden age for rap, right now.

MalachiLui's picture

while Kendrick is great in his own way, I think Tyler's artistry and attention to detail puts him above pretty much everyone except Kanye and a couple others.

and considering the type of Kanye album we're about to get, I think he might be past his prime (and yes, I really enjoy "ye").