Travis Scott - ASTROWORLD
Trap music and it's biggest stars are going through a bit of a change these days. A genre which used to be solely focused on flossing and recounting stories from the trap is now going through it's emo phase. More and more rappers are taking the Lil Uzi Vert turn and diving not just into the heartbreaking, but also the just plain sad. That is the environment that Travis Scott's new album ASTROWORLD arrives. Scott has always been the one with the energy. His style is hyped to max including his patented ad lib "It's Lit!". That vibe is downplayed on this album, slipping more into his curator role than ever before. The first big surprise is the big feature from Frank Ocean on "CAROUSEL". The elusive singer gives us one his most boastful features to date, but also slides right into his melodic style as Scott bounces around. There are two things going on at once on this album: first it is vibey and drenched in what makes the best music in 2018, while on the other, it's a bit slow. With Scott you want industrial bangs, hollow beats with his affected vocal jumping in, but you really get very little of that on this record. He gets close on the collaboration with Drake "SICKO MODE". I like that Travis Scott isn't afraid to get into the murky and atmospheric, but it leaves you wanting something that is more of an on the nose banger. All the elements are there, the tones, the content and the features but it just needs to click into that next gear.
Now in a committed relationship with a child, it feels like Travis Scott is trying to do some growing up. Songs like "STOP TRYING TO BE GOD" feel like a conversation Scott is having with himself, trying to avoid the pitfalls and mental breakdowns that are accompanied by stardom. On the same track though He closes it with this almost accordion sounding outro that is grating at best. His flows are nice but often feel sleepy as hell. "NO BYSTANDERS" has the phrase "fuck the club up" repeated over and over, but the song barely gets over a bop. The one nice thing about this album is Scott never tries to go full rock and roll star like some of his counterparts have as of late. The Weeknd also delivers one of the best performances on "WAKE UP". Scott takes the "alien voice" vocal to new levels on "NC-17" which is a heavily sexual song that ends up being pretty silly. There are a ton of things to like about ASTROWORLD but when it should really bang it just misses the mark. It is a solid record but not one without flaws. We will just have to wait and see how it ends up being received. Rest assured however Mr. Scott will be fine with his (almost) billionaire baby momma.
7.5 out of 10