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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Album Review: “UTOPIA” by Travis Scott

Rating: 8.5/10

On July 28th, Travis Scott released his 4th solo studio album “UTOPIA”, the highly anticipated 19-track record. After a 4 year hiatus since Travis Scott’s last solo album, “UTOPIA” had a lot of expectations to live up to. Through catchy beats and unique production, the album fulfilled fans’ hopes, despite having a few objectionable features and lyrics.

The album outdid itself with  major musical  features from rappers such as Drake, 21 savage, Playboy Carti, and Future, as well as pop singers like SZA, The Weeknd, and Beyoncé. Each artist delivered their own twist to Scott’s album, with Scott himself not shying away from his iconic futuristic, funkadelic, and upbeat style.

“UTOPIA” didn’t fail to produce a variety of hit tracks, with “HYAENA” and “THANK GOD” starting the album off with booming energy. “I KNOW ?”, “MELTDOWN”, and “TELEKINESIS”, followed later in the album, being some of the standouts on the record by using addictive sounds topped with radical vocals.

Despite the captivating use of rhythm and beats, these components are what mainly bolstered the album, allowing the lyrics to fall flat as they do in most of Travis Scott’s work. While the production sounds amazing, a lot of the songs use old samples and inspiration from the problematic Kanye West, under fire for his anti-semitic statements. 

  Additionally,  it is hard to miss the few mentions of the Astroworld tragedy where 8 people passed away at an overcrowded event Scott ran. In the song “MY EYES”, Scott sings, “Stand on the stage, I give ‘em the rage/ No turnin’ it down, can’t tame it,” and whether intentional or not, the message feels insensitive to those who lost their lives. Scott’s choice to feature Dave Chappelle on track 13, “PARASAIL” was also problematic. Chappelle has been criticized for his transphobic jokes and beliefs that he refused to apologize for, making the inclusion distasteful. 

The record comes with only a few skips including, “MODERN JAM”, “PARASAIL”, and “K-POP” that in no way jade the rest of the album but happen to lack the electric energy seen throughout the rest of his music. 

The record definitely puts up a strong case for the album of the year with the unmatched producing and multitude of different voices featured. Unfortunately I don’t get to decide on the Grammy’s, but in my books, this is the album of the summer, earning a 8.5/10.

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Ben Holland, Section Copy Editor
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