Music Review: Astroworld
“They tore down Astroworld to build more apartment space. That’s what its going to sound like, like taking an amusement park away from kids.” – Travis Scott, 2017
With his own unique sound, a choice of great collaborations with music royalty and the overbearing Houston based theme in nearly all of the songs, Travis Scott has without a doubt made ‘Astroworld’ his greatest album to date.
Released in late 2018, Scott’s latest album drifts away from the tone of his previous two works (Owl Project and Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight). With a new enlightened theme to the lyrics, it moves away from the previous overarching ideas of sex, drugs and his own personal hardships. In this album, he connects with his native Houston sound more than he ever has before, incorporating this into the album cover and many of the songs including CAROUSEL-, a rendition similar to the song ‘Not a Stain on Me’ written in 2008 by Houston Rapper, Big Tuck.
Certainly, Scott’s collaborations in this album have set it apart from any of his previous works. Featuring Stevie Wonder’s harmonica solo in ‘STOP TRYING TO BE GOD’ and Drake’s verse in ‘SICKO MODE’, Scott has used featured artists in ‘Astroworld’ to synthesize within each songs’ beat and genre. He has done this so effectively that the featured artists are a great compliment to the songs but do not take away the significance in his lyrics.
Songs in this album including, ‘STARGAZING’ and ‘5% TINT’ can be more directly related to Scott’s life than many of the other songs, encapsulating his own personal experiences. STARGAZING, the albums opening song, provides a glance into his experiences both at ‘Astroworld’ in Houston, Texas and with drugs.
The biggest song of this album, based on sales figures and music chart performance, is SICKO MODE. This song, which is played on the mainstream very frequently, is unique in having three major beat changes and features Canadian megastar, Drake playing a large role in the song. The lyrics of the song are ambiguous, however the beat of this song has proved highly successful, earning Scott performance in the highly coveted Superbowl Halftime show.
Overall, Astroworld shows Travis Scott’s improvement and maturity as an artist, with the redefining of his beats, lyrics and genre proving to be successful characteristics. Scott has changed his music, incorporating a new style while paying his dues to his native Houston heritage. While in many of the songs in this album are about him in real life, his collaborations have made it so the songs are not overbearing or self-absorbed.
I rate it a 7/10.