Has Travis Scott finally found “UTOPIA?”

It’s been a long and strange road to Travis Scott’s exit UTOPIA but the Houston rapper’s fourth studio album has finally debuted – more than three years since he first announced it and five years since his last LP, 2018 Astromonde.

It was never clear if Scott had a set timeline for the album’s rollout. A year and a half later UTOPIA was announced, its November 2021 Astroworld Festival notoriously led to a crowd surge that claimed 10 lives and injured hundreds more. Naturally, Scott kept a low profile afterward, doing little more than launching an event security initiative called “Project HEAL,” as he faced $750 million in pending lawsuits and possible criminal charges. , of which he was cleared by a grand jury. just last month. The rapper returned the following year in September with a week-long residency at Zouk nightclub in Las Vegas dubbed road to utopia.

Things became quiet again for a few months after the residency, and it was unclear if Scott had already finished his album or was in the process of doing so. An official deployment did not begin until May – The Weeknd and Scott’s bodyguard were drafted in to transport UTOPIA-branded briefcases, Mike Dean stepped in to deliver his own update on the LP and Scott seemingly released the finished album for the Houston Astros – but fans still haven’t seen any new music.

When “KPOP”, UTOPIAarrived last week, many die-hard Scott fans were disappointed. The track enlisted The Weeknd, a feature evident after the briefcase teaser, featuring Bad Bunny. Those two names, in tandem with its title, seemed like a referencing device designed to catapult Scott to the top of Google’s search engine, but the song lacked Scott’s enigmatic, psychedelic sound and veered towards the credits, having a barebones beat. without defined construction. or deposit.

“Pretty generic for a Travis song, although there’s nothing [specifically] wrong with the song,” a fan posted on Reddit. “It’s just not a UTOPIA level song.”

“Confused by this song,” wrote another. “I like it, but it’s neither a chart topper like ‘Sicko Mode’, nor an experimental, grand, 7+ minute deep cut like ‘3500.’ buzz?” He’s virtually guaranteed a number one spot, but his longevity is another issue.

“KPOP” painted a bleak future for UTOPIA, but Scott returned two days before releasing the album with a more promising cut from the LP, a collaboration with Beyoncé called “DELRESTO (ECHOES)”. An ominous ambient opener recalls Scott’s classic sound and within seconds the song introduces a hard-hitting beat emblematic of Beyoncé’s own club music. RENAISSANCE album.

Separately, the rapper was preparing for the premiere UTOPIA because with a live performance at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt on the same day as its digital release, a show that was reportedly canceled, news that was followed by Scott ringing in to say it was still happening, and then, a day later , officially canceled due to “complex production issues,” according to Live Nation Middle East.

Cue to Scott’s fall UTOPIA in full today, July 28: a juggernaut of 19 tracks and 74 minutes of experimentation, artists who break the rules and star artists. “KPOP” aside, UTOPIA offers what you expect from a Scott LP, and more. It’s ominous and subversive, spiraling through the dark depths of Scott’s mind before surging to the surface for moments of crystalline clarity, all wrapped in sharp hooks punctuated by synths.

On “Circus Maximus,” Scott teams up with The Weeknd again to rap over pop-style beats. The song also has some influence from Kanye West via a quick and punchy buildup reminiscent of the Yeezus song “Black Skinhead”.

Another fan favorite is “Meltdown,” where Scott taps Drake for husky bars layered over murky electronics that seemingly mimic the experience of tapping his pressure points.

Scott does not name featured artists in the song titles, allowing listeners to be continually surprised. In addition to The Weeknd, Bad Bunny, Drake and Bey, there’s Bon Iver, who also appears on “DELRESTO (ECHOES)”, along with Young Thug, Playboi Carti, Future, James Blake, Kid Cudi, 21 Savage, SZA, Daft Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of punk and more. This incorporation of chameleon function is done without oversaturation: rather than simply plugging in a guest verse, each song weaves in the guest artist’s distinct sound and style.

Despite its artistic merit, there is a (expected) heated debate around UTOPIAwith many expressing that it’s just too soon after Astroworld for Scott’s big comeback, and that the rapper didn’t seem to face any real consequences for what happened that day.

Considering UTOPIA separated from this discussion, the album is worth listening to, at least once. UTOPIA sees Scott take a step back from the anger and angst he’s made a name for Rodeo And ASTROWORLD. UTOPIA dulls the rage, finding Scott in an equally meritorious but completely new sonic sphere. With each seemingly revealing rap, one wonders if it could potentially symbolize a permanent maturation of his style amid La Flame’s ongoing, never-ending evolution.

Listen to Travis Scott’s new album UTOPIA.

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