For Fans of: Kanye West, Drake, Migos
Tracks to Download: “SICKO MODE,” “NO BYSTANDERS,” “STARGAZING”
After three years of being teased and a brutal amount of delays and setbacks, die-hard Travis fans were given a gift on Aug. 3, 2018. Named after a now-closed Six Flags amusement park in Travis’s hometown of Houston, Astroworld has various nods at his past and future. The Virtuoso adds many subtle elements to deliver a unforgettable album worth the wait.
The 26-year-old Houston rapper’s third studio album is easily his best to date after a somewhat disappointing collaborative album with Quavo. The album’s roster of featured artists reads like a Billboard Top 100 list but, rather than feeling over-cluttered, it is more of a treasure hunt for amazing features throughout.
Astroworld is definitely a different feel than Scott’s usual hallucinogenic rap about sex, drugs and things of that matter. There is definitely that aspect still on the album, but just a little less that usual.The feel is happier, showing how Scott he is finally indulging in his fame and success while still addressing his struggles. There are more soft and soothing songs than what is on a usual Scott album, but Astroworld still has that classic Travis Scott feel.
The first track, “STARGAZING,” is the perfect way to intro the long-awaited album. The track starts off slow and then speeds up when the beat hits, showing off a lot of Scott’s ability to switch up different styles in a matter of a beat.This is a classic Travis Scott autotune hit with a catchy hook. The second half of the song seamlessly transitions to an upbeat. Scott just kills it as he spits, “OK, I been up for some days, I ain’t got time to lay / Just to drown out all these thoughts, I tried all kind of things / If I take you to my past, you will be traumatized / Got a thousand kids outside that’s tryna come alive.” Travis talks about all the fans wanting to see him and rage with him at concerts. He also speaks on his tough past: When he was only 19, Scott dropped out of the University of Texas at San Antonio. His parents completely cut him off financially, and for the next several years, he had to sleep on various friends’ floors. You can definitely hear influences from his past throughout the album, as Scott mentions numerous times the struggles he’s had.
The next track, “CAROUSEL,” continues the upbeat rap and flow with a surprise appearance from Frank Ocean. This is an excellent song that might otherwise get lost in the mix, but it should not be overlooked.
Up next is the hit of the album, “SICKO MODE,” featuring Drake and Swae Lee. As soon as the song begins, the beat already has you sucked in, but it only gets better. Drake’s vocals start the song off amazingly, only to be followed by the skills of Scott. Drake and Scott go back and forth on the beat perfectly. This is all around a classic and a banger—expect to hear this song on the radio everywhere this year.
Slowing down the feel, “R.I.P. SCREW,” featuring Swae Lee, definitely shows Scott’s diverse style. The beat and soothing vocals from Swae Lee and a catchy hook create another lowkey hit. Following up, in “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD” Kid Cudi, Stevie Wonder, James Blake, Steve Bailey and Scott call out artists who put themselves out there to be God-like. This track is a masterpiece of a song and very different than the rest of the songs on the album.
The track “NO BYSTANDERS” has another amazing, upbeat flow, as Scott and Mike Dean create a head-moving beat. The song comes together with nice contributions from Juice Wrld, who is on the continuous hook, and amazing vocals from Shack Wes throughout the entire song. This is definitely a classic Scott song that any fan of rap can listen to.
From here on, the album is definitely a different mix of vibes than essentially the first half of the album, which is a shift not present in Birds in the Trap Sing Mcknight nor Rodeo. A lot of the remaining songs on Astroworld get overshadowed by the beginning tracks, which is a shame, because the songs are on the same level of greatness.The rest of the album finishes up strong travis doesn’t let off the throttle at all as he delivers more amazing tracks.
Tracks like “WAKE UP” and “ASTROTHUNDER” deliver that soft, moody vibe featuring The Weeknd and a nice beat. Then there are already-established hits like “BUTTERFLY EFFECT.” A lot of tracks like “YOSEMITE” and “NC-17” are packed with stars like Gunna and 21 Savage who all-over deliver on the verses.
Songs like “SKELETONS,” “WHO?WHAT!” and “HOUSTONFORNICATION” are classic Scott songs with features from The Weeknd again and Migos. These artists all have amazing chemistry and all could potentially be the next hit off the album. But these songs don’t get as much attention or plays as other songs on the album get because they’re deeper in the album, and if people only listen that deep into the album once or twice, they won’t get to hear how good the songs really are.
“COFFEE BEAN” closes out the album with a very relaxing, chill vibe. Scott reflects on his recent role as a new father and relationship with Kylie Jenner, as well as problems he’s had or is having in life at the moment. This track definitely shows how Scott’s life and Scott himself are changing and how he’s growing as an artist and a person.
Travis Scott not only delivered a masterpiece album, but perhaps one of the best albums in the last two years. Astroworld is a complete listen-through—all 17 tracks keep you hooked the entire time. The Houston rapper not only gave us the Travis Scott we love, but another side we haven’t seen before. Only big things are up next for the 26-year-old rapper.