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Utopia by Travis Scott: A Review

Utopia by Travis Scott: A Review

Is It the Perfect World?

Travis Scott’s fifth studio album was finally released this past Friday. It has brought fans of his music together to revel in his newfound achievement in the musical sphere while still keeping in mind his roots. It has brought along a lot of conversation on social media and in the music industry, shaking up the world. Even without the music, Travis Scott has always brought a sense of energy and “rage” to the music scene, and this album doesn’t stray away from that. It introduces a lot of new sounds that were experimented with in the past but were not fully flexed out like in this album. It is an experience to behold that will have you listening to it over and over again to the point of no return. 

The Rage

Along with the release of this album comes the idea of “rage music.” This is a subgenre of hip-hop that has surfaced in the recent years, following the release of Playboi Carti’s third studio album Whole Lotta Red. The sound that best describes the subgenre is that of heavy and dark synths, followed by a heap of screaming ad-libs and catchy hooks. Many fans expected a lot of that type of music throughout the album but were surprised to see it only in one song, which fittingly has Playboi Carti featured on it. This does not mean that the album is lacking in that rage aspect; what it does mean is that Travis has a unique sound of his own that can be differentiated from the rage subgenre while still maintaining what he feels to be “the rage.” See, for Travis, the idea of “the rage” has come from his energetic performances both in his music and live shows. He is a pioneer of the expressive hip-hop genre, one that creates music through vocal inflections and experimentation.

This leads to a very unique topic when it comes to music, which is that of experimentation. Travis has always been a master at this part of his craft as he takes in his raw emotion to express it through sound. Now, these sounds can be really mellow, but they can also be extremely energetic and aggressive. This is seen throughout Utopia in a lot of ways – mostly in the way that he uses his voice as an instrument to create the sense of influence on the music itself. Songs like “I KNOW?” and “PARASAIL” are prime examples of this. Overall, the employment of the concept of “the rage” is firmly present throughout the album and that can be attributed in many ways to Scott’s previous works. 

The Features

Another great part about any Travis Scott album are the features that are spread out throughout. This project, like the previous two, had its features hidden in the music. It leaves the listener to sort of scour the album looking for them and awaiting their next move. This always makes the experience better because of the surprise factor of hearing someone the audience might very well know and love on such a highly anticipated and popular album release.

Utopia by Travis Scott: A Review

The features themselves are all great. Some are short, others are long. For example, Sampha has about four lines on the entirety of the album, all of them being in the song “MY EYES.” In contrast to this, there are songs like “DELRESTO (ECHOES)” which have the featured artist take on most of the song; in this case Beyoncé. The features also don’t impede on Travis’ ability to flow or impact the song at all and are overall well-placed. Some newcomers are always added to the roster of features, like Teezo Touchdown. Others are more seasoned and, to some extent, are basically expected, like Drake and Young Thug. All in all, the features on this album are a plus for the listening experience when it comes to Utopia

The Production 

Utopia employs a number of different beats and sounds together to create a unique and diverse musical experience. The way that the album flows together with the use of its production is truly magical and something to behold. It feels very much like the score of a movie rather than just an album. Starting off with experimental and hard hitting beats like the ones on “HYAENA” and “SIRENS” create a sense of energy within the audience that is similar to that of “the rage.” The album also employs more mellow and spacey production mixed with trap elements like “TILL FURTHER NOTICE” and “MY EYES.”

The beats include a lot of synths, samples, and 808s that make the album feel so versatile. The use of the different types of instrumentation creates a sense of ease within each track as one flows into the other. One song in particular, which was released as the lead single for the album, was “K-POP” which was not completely well-received by fans. This song being released as the lead single of the album made fans worried for what would eventually become of the album, but have started to notice that it fits in the larger context of the album. Overall, each beat is like its own character that has its own personality and thus increases the investment of the audience. 

The Perfect World

Ultimately, the album is a masterclass in Travis Scott’s discography and shows off his ability to create new sounds while still keeping up with his signature sound. The thought of him bringing back songs like “LOOOVE” from 2014 to put on his new album is insane and truly a testament to his ability to make old sounds feel new. The album itself is a great blend of experimentation and familiarity.  It is an overall masterful creation and a genre-bending experience that will leave fans interested for years to come.

Utopia by Travis Scott: A Review

Utopia Release Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Hi! I am a Dramatic Writing and Performing Arts major at SCAD from Puerto Rico. I have an intense passion for all things film, tv, and music. I believe everyone has a story to tell, and putting it out there is the most important.