ASTROWORLD ALBUM REVIEW

Following more than a year’s worth of hype, Travis Scott’s third studio album, ASTROWORLD, has finally landed. Disregarding Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, Travis’ 2017 collaborative effort with Quavo, which seemed to have come and gone, fans have been hungry for a follow up to 2015’s Rodeo since the underappreciated Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016). With Travis himself claiming that ASTROWORLD is finishing the saga that Rodeo started, the excitement was real. Very real. Along with the release of the 17-track album, the central question was, of course, did he deliver?

travis scott astroworld

While the album’s initial listen may feel disappointing to many, a couple extra plays will prove to be a worthwhile experience. Travis manages to gather a wide array of guests including veterans such as Drake & The Weeknd as well as upcoming acts like Juice WRLD & Gunna.

The production is also handled magnificently through names such as Wondagurl, Thundercat & Mike Dean. The album’s lone single is the Murda Beatz-produced BUTTERFLY EFFECT, which fits well into ASTROWORLD’s theme despite it being one of Travis’ weaker singles.

ASTROWORLD

To begin, the album kicks off with STARGAZING, one of the few featureless tracks throughout the album. The beat comes in hard and Travis does his thing, creating a wavy drug-infused vibe. Right when the track starts feeling repetitive, the beat transitions to a new one where Travis goes straight into rapping. Something which he does a lot more of throughout ASTROWORLD.

The opener’s psychedelic undertone is present up until the very end of the album. The album’s closer, COFFEE BEAN, takes a different approach and finds Travis rapping about his relationship with celebrity personality Kylie Jenner. This is done over soothing production by dvsn’s Nineteen85. In it, he opens up about personal struggles regarding his race, fame and the fear of a falling out.

Travis switches up Rodeo’s formula for this body of work, replacing the lengthier tracks such as 3500 & Oh My Dis Side that were present on Rodeo for shorter ones. Containing a total of 5 tracks clocking in at under 3 minutes as opposed to none of the standard tracks on Rodeo. This can be linked to the theme of the album as rollercoasters offer the excitement within a short time span.

This is further developed through many of the tracks taking time to open and switching abruptly in order to mimic twists and turns. The features not being revealed until you listen also play into the uncertainty of not knowing what comes next when on rides. The futuristic production accompanied by haunting auras as well as cheerful carnivalesque sounds tie the theme together perfectly.

Rollercoaster Theme

This theme came to fruition due to Travis’ love for his hometown of Houston, Texas. “Six Flags: AstroWorld” was an amusement park that operated in Houston from 1968-2005 which Travis was emotionally attached to. He claims that the inspiration behind this album’s sound is his attempt to bring the amusement park back to the kids they took it from. The southern influences don’t stop there as Travis pays homage to Houston’s legendary DJ Screw with a tribute track.

In addition, he also shows love to southern groups Three 6 Mafia by interpolating their 1995 record “Tear da Club up 97’” on NO BYSTANDERS. He does the same for Goodie Mob, by sampling their 1995 record “Cell Therapy” on 5% TINT. On top of showing love to the OG’s, Travis gives Houston up and comer Don Toliver a huge look, placing him on CAN’T SAY. A track which he bodies.

Certain Travis fans may be disappointed by the lack of “rage” present throughout the album, specific features (notably Nav’s useless appearance on YOSEMITE), the abundance of transitions or the lack of variety. However, while individual tracks could have used more work, there really are no bad tracks throughout ASTROWORLD. Reminiscent of Drake’s Views, these albums serve as odes to their respective cities that couldn’t quite live up to the hype, yet are still dope projects. Travis Scott delivers yet again, proving he’s here to stay.

Recap

Top features:

  • Drake (SICKO MODE)
  • James Blake / Stevie Wonder (STOP TRYING TO BE GOD)
  • 21 Savage (NC-17)
  • Don Toliver (CAN’T SAY)

Weak Tracks

  • NONE

Standout Tracks

  • STARGAZING
  • SICKO MODE
  • STOP TRYING TO BE GOD
  • NO BYSTANDERS
  • ASTROTHUNDER
  • CAN’T SAY
  • HOUSTONFORNICATION
  • COFFEE BEAN

ASTROWORLD = 8/10