Astroworld takes listeners on an uneventful ride


Rachel Maxwell

Travis Scott’s newest album, Astroworld, released on August 3rd took fans by surprise. Varied emotions, from love to hate, flooded social media fans, who have been patiently waiting years for the album’s release.

Jacob Tutterow, Opinions editor

Astroworld, the new album released by Travis Scott, rode on a rollercoaster of hype between the time Scott announced its initial release on August 3, 2018. He gave the name of his third studio album before he released his second, Birds In The Trap Sing Mcknight, back in 2016, building fans’ expectations and hopes for the new project.

After the amazing, dark, hedonistic, and surprisingly experimental Rodeo, Scott’s breakout album, fans felt unsatisfied with his next release, Birds In The Trap Sing Mcknight. The album consisted of half-baked ideas and no thematic consistency, feeling like the microwaved leftovers of Rodeo. The album fell wildly below listeners’ expectations, but the wait for Astroworld led fans to expect a return to form.

Unfortunately, Scott’s  54 minutes of fame accomplishes next to nothing in his third studio album. The album suffers from the same ailments that plagued Birds In The Trap Sing Mcknight, with Scott moaning across tracks in his metallic utterance. He, to his credit, does attempt to revert back to the epic beat switches that made Rodeo a pleasure to listen to, but in these endeavors, ends up creating a jarring and uncomfortable listening experience. These beats most prominently show up in “SICKO MODE,” in which the beat switches so quickly and without transition that the listener cannot hold onto any part of the song they enjoy for more than a couple seconds. Admittedly, Drake’s guest verses save the song, and Scott brings his best flow, making the song a listenable performance.

The worst part about this album, though, lies in the vapid and repetitive lyricism. No creative thought went into any part of the writing in Astroworld. Scott raps about the same topics of hedonism and drug use over and over again, with no thought to variation and no sense put into the non-catchy hooks that permeated his earlier works. All the rappers featured, save for the always amazing Frank Ocean, add nothing of note lyrically to this project, with the worst offender, 21 Savage, making overtly obscene imagery on “NC-17” that provides nothing but a quotable line for teenagers to chuckle about. Other guests, though, like James Blake and Kid Cudi on “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD” do add to the overall aesthetic of the album, and Drake provides a consistently good feature on “SICKO MODE.”

Astroworld tries its best to give off a ‘theme park’ vibe, but cannot keep listeners’ attention long enough to actually notice. The amount of filler tracks makes Astroworld a slog to listen to, and by the end of the album, Scott’s voice feels like a robotic dog yelping for help. If the project cut off filler tracks and kept to a better, more consistent theme, the album may not have felt so taxing. The innovation and brief moments of the production that perfectly match the vocals, like on “SICKO MODE,” “BUTTERFLY EFFECT,” and parts of “STARGAZING,” do not outweigh the glaring issues that Scott failed to fix in his creative process.

Astroworld seems to prove that Rodeo, unfortunately, only came from random experimentation that worked out in the end. Scott seems to not care about pushing the envelope in the oversaturated world of hip hop, and only wants his piece of the pie.

The Chant’s Grade: D