By Saebean Yi,
Travis Scott swept the hip-hop audience in the summer of 2018 with his release of his highly anticipated project, “ASTROWORLD.”
After his disappointing release of “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight” back in 2016, it seemed like Travis wouldn’t ever reach the masterful level of his first studio album, “Rodeo,” again.
“ASTROWORLD,” however, did not necessarily disappoint.
To start off, “ASTROWORLD” has the best production out of any Travis’ album — possibly even the best produced album to release this year. The album’s strong fleet of producers allow for diversity in the instrumentals.
“R.I.P. SCREW” is a prime example. The mix of the beat’s wavy synths, the subtle but murky vocals in the background and the crisp vocals of Travis and the featured artist, Swae Lee, combine perfectly to provide a drowsy, psychedelic vibe throughout the track. Travis’ lyrics mentioning drug paraphernalia also fit well with this track.
Other tracks like “SKELETONS,” “CAN’T STAY,” “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD,” and “COFFEE BEAN” are high points of this album. In these tracks, Travis and the other features all seem to have a crucial role and also provides top-notch lyricism.
Often, however, Travis and other featured artists don’t reach the full potential of the grandiose beats they are provided. While the project is definitely full of some amazing songs where the artists’ voice and lyrics and instrumentals complement each other, the album is scattered with some songs that have completely awful vocals in-line with the production.
Tracks like “YOSEMITE” feature subpar vocals and boring lyricism from all three of the artists–Travis, NAV and Gunna–which entirely offends the beat. And in tracks like “NC-17,” Travis’ delivery is choppy- too choppy- and 21 Savage only further harms this shipwreck of a song.
Travis was never regarded as a rapper for his lyrics and verses, as his vocals and catchy flow often overshadowed his songs. But in some of these songs, the lyricism was far from great, even for his standards.
Flaws aside, this album was definitely an improvement from 2016’s “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight.” While it did not reach the high level status of “Rodeo,” “ASTROWORLD” provided the hip-hop community with a more than adequate album that fans would enjoy their summer with.
BEST TRACKS: STOP TRYING TO BE GOD, 5% TINT, COFFEE BEAN, R.I.P. SCREW, CAN’T SAY
WORST TRACKS: YOSEMITE, NC-17, WHO? WHAT!, BUTTERFLY EFFECT