ASTROWORLD Review

A+fan-made+edit+of+Travis+Scott%E2%80%99s+latest+album+cover.
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ASTROWORLD Review

A fan-made edit of Travis Scott’s latest album cover.

A fan-made edit of Travis Scott’s latest album cover.

A fan-made edit of Travis Scott’s latest album cover.

A fan-made edit of Travis Scott’s latest album cover.

Brandon Strambler, Copy Editor

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On August 3rd, upcoming Houston rapper Travis Scott released arguably the most anticipated album of 2018, Astroworld, his third studio album which debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. As of August 24, it has sold the equivalent of 537,000 copies (seventy-eight thousand pure), has been streamed 167 million times, and has been certified Gold by the RIAA.
The album’s name pays homage to the now-closed Houston amusement park AstroWorld which was forced to shut down in 2005 due to substantial costs and declining attendance. As a huge fan of the park, Travis noted on Astroworld influence before its release. “They tore down AstroWorld to build more apartment space. That’s what [my album]’s going to sound like, like taking an amusement park away from kids. We want it back.” Many songs are also heavily influenced by the Houston rap-scene and Dirty South sound, most notably chopped and screwed music, created by Smithville-born DJ Screw. Features include Drake, the Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Stevie Wonder, Kid Cudi, Swae Lee, Gunna, and the promising Houston rapper Don Toliver.
The project is full with solid hooks, beautiful harmonizing, and psychedelic beats. Astroworld is also Travis’ most personal album yet, delving deep into his current mental status and references his relationship with Kylie Jenner and their infant daughter, Stormi. Features like Don Toliver and Drake give tracks a “full” feeling and are nearly perfect in structure, performance, and engineering.

Autotune. Travis’ greatest tool. Instead of using the program for basic pitch correction, he uses it in the form of an art. Harmonizing on tracks like STARGAZING, WAKE UP, and ASTROTHUNDER, his voice packs energy and aesthetic like no other artist. On STARGAZING especially, his high pitched voice and specific, coordinated notes give the listener a feeling similar to travelling through space.
Moreover, there is truly no inherently bad track on the entire album, but the weakest of the bunch is WHO, WHAT? This song is a blatant throwaway from Scott’s joint project with Quavo, Huncho Jack Jack Huncho. Its structure and flow is inherently monotonous with mediocre performance from both Travis and the Migos. It is impossible to imagine why Travis would choose this to be included when there are two more preferable unreleased songs, Rerun and Lofi, that are from the same era. Not only this, but 21 Savage’s feature on NC-17 sounds like he quite literally just woke up and overall leaves an impression that there’s room for improvement.
This album definitely proves itself to be of the best hip hop/rap albums to be released in 2018 so far and is too good to pass up. If given the chance to listen, I highly recommend doing so.

Rating: 9/10

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