Travis Scott's "UTOPIA"
Travis Scott is a name you probably recognize as he has been one of the big names of hip hop and rap ever since his first studio album "Rodeo." As a singer, writer, and producer, Scott has had four number-one hits on the US Billboard Top 100 chart such as Franchise, HIGHEST IN THE ROOM, and SICKO MODE. The last studio album Travis Scott released is "ASTROWORLD" which he released back in 2018 and has sold 5 million times across many countries.Although he has had controversy with his recent concerts, a lot of fans have been patiently waiting for his new release for the past five years. Fortunately, the wait is finally over. On July 28th, 2023 Scott released "UTOPIA" which features a lot of big names such as Drake, Beyonce, and many more. This has to be my favorite album by him to this date as it has so many songs that will go down as Travis Scott classics. I will be doing a review on the album song by song and give my opinion on each.
HYAENA: The intro song to the album starts off in an eerie manner with a sampled verse from Derek Shulman's "Proclamation." Once the verse ends, the beat starts off and welcomes Scott's rapping. His songwriting ability can be seen throughout the song with many lines such as "Poetic justice, I got you in all my stanzas," where he describes his lyrics as the 'stanzas' and the poetic justice are his disses to other artists. He also makes reference to other rappers such as 2Pac who starred in a movie titled Poetic Justice and Kendrick Lamar who released a song titled the same. The song ends with a small sample by George Clinton from "Maggot Brain" as it slowly fades into a transition for the next song.
THANK GOD: The second song in the album features artist Kaycyy and rapper Teezo Touchdown for small adlibs. With a three minute runtime and memorable lyrics the song is perfect to vibe out in the car. A fun fact is that there is a line by daughter of Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner, Stormi Webster, that made the cut as another adlib.
MODERN JAM: The third song of the album once again features Teezo Touchdown. Regardless of the bumping and repetitive beat, the song is still very enjoyable with Scott's bars. Still, this might not be everyone's favorite as it's very different from anything Scott has done before. Teezo Touchdown's verse also adds a lot to this song and single-handedly makes the song worth listening thanks to his captivating voice.
MY EYES: The fourth song of the album features melodies by Sampha and Justin Veron and is the first slow-down song in the album. The first half of the song has a slow and melancholic feel with soft voices. But after Sampha's verse, the beat picks up and turns into a fast paced song while still keeping its calm vibe. In one line Scott says, "All of that green and yellow, that drift from your eyes is tellin', " referring to ex-girlfriend Kylie Jenner. In my opinion, this song is perfect in many ways and definitely one of the best in the album.
GOD'S COUNTRY: The fifth song of the album is a solo performance by Scott. It's the shortest song with a run time of 2 minutes and 7 seconds and it doesn't really have much to offer. It's not a bad song but definitely not something that would go viral, just a simple rapping session by Scott with a peculiar melody.
SIRENS: The sixth track of the album is once again Scott by himself but he samples the band Amanaz's 'Nsunka Lwendo.' This track is another solid one worth listening to. Sirens are heard throughout the song as adlibs to hence the title of the song. At the end of the song, the melody completely changes as if it was a new song and enters a dialogue by Drake which then transitions to his feature in the next song.
MELTDOWN: Track seven starts with Drake's verse anticipated from his dialogue in the last track. Although it has some profanity, this song is by far one of the best in this album as both Drake's and Scott's verses are a perfect combination and very memorable. I'm not the only one that thinks this as to this date Meltdown is the most streamed song of UTOPIA and number 3 on the Billboard Top 100 and with 130M streams on Spotify. A track with Drake and Scott has definitely been needed ever since the release of 'SICKO MODE' back in 2018.
FE!N: The eighth track features rapper Playboi Carti who comes back to music by featuring in UTOPIA after being absent since he released his last album on 2020. With it's very repetitive and catchy chorus, this song is a fan favorite and one of the best performing in the album with 123M streams on Spotify and the number 5 on the Billboard Top 100. Carti sings with his deep voice contrary to most of his most recent songs. This track definitely deserves a spot in your playlist.
DELRESTO (ECHOES): Track nine features Beyonce which is someone Scott has wanted to work with ever since his album Rodeo come out eight years ago. Beyonce's amazing voice is a highlight of the song and actually goes very well with Scott's singing voice. Justin Veron also features for some melodies and the outro which really ties up the song.
Photo Credits: Billy Farrell
I KNOW ?: Track number ten in UTOPIA was produced and written by Scott in another solo performance. As number 11 in the Billboard Top 100 and with 110M streams on Spotify this track is one of the best in the album. The lyrics are catchy, the production is top tier, and it's very replayable. It really doesn't get better than this. This track is my favorite of the album but not by too much as other songs like 'MELTDOWN' and 'MY EYES' are close seconds.
TOPIA TWINS: The eleventh track has a lot to offer with features from Rob49 and 21 Savage. Although Rob49's verse has a lot of profanity, it's still enjoyable. Needless to say 21 Savage has a great verse and is a great feature to this track. A very solid rap song and a very liked one as it's number 17 on the Billboard Top 100.
CIRCUS MAXIMUS: Track twelve features Swae Lee and his vocals as well as The Weeknd. Still, most of the singing is done by Scott as Swae Lee has only a short intro and The Weeknd has an equally short outro. This doesn't take away from the song though because Scott's songwriting is really top tier with two great verses. Scott also references the real Circus Maximus which is an ancient racing stadium in Rome, Italy.
PARASAIL: Track number thirteen starts with a mono-toned intro by comedian Dave Chapelle and also features Swedish rapper Yung Lean who only sings small portions. Although it's very short, I think this track is very underrated because Scott's voice sounds great here and Dave Chapelles voice is a really cool addition.
SKITZO: Track number fourteen is the longest one in the album with a run-time of six minutes and six seconds and also features rapper Young Thug. The reason for its length is that the song has four different parts with four different beats. Young Thug only raps in the first part of the song and the other three are carried by Scott's songwriting. This song has some really great producing as they mash three different beats and make them work together. Everyone can enjoy this song as its diversity allows everyone to have a favorite part regardless of their tastes in rap, and my favorite part is part four.
Photo credits: Burak Cindi
LOST FOREVER: The fifteenth track has many features including James Blake, Chuck Senrick, and Westside Gunn who is the only of the three to have a full verse. The song feels really mysterious and eerie but personally I don't really enjoy most of it. Westside Gunn's verse is really good but other than that the song feels very lacking.
LOOOVE: Track number sixteen features Kid Cudi and it has a really upbeat sound. The chorus is really repetitive but in a fun way. Kid Cudi's verse only comes at the end of the song but it's also a very solid verse. Although the song is performing worse than others at the Billboard Top 100 being only number 49, I really like it because its a very fun song to sing and definitely deserves more recognition.
K-POP: Track number seventeen features Bad Bunny, which makes this track the third time Bad Bunny and Scott have worked together, and The Weeknd for the second time on this album. This song was actually released a week earlier than the album as a single on July 21st. It is a really fun and has a latin-influenced beat which matches the style of Bad Bunny but also fits that of Scott and The Weeknd. When it was first released it was number 7 in the Billboard Top 100. I think this is one of the better songs from the album.
TELEKINESIS: Track eighteen is the second longest in the album reaching almost six minutes in length and features rapper Future and SZA. Throughout the song Scott references the future a lot and he says "I can't wait to live in glory in everlastin' life," saying how even after death, he'll still be remembered because of his impact on music. Future's verse is pretty good but nowhere near SZA's amazing performance. Her entrance to the song is heavenly and her verse along makes the song worth listening to. Regardless of being long, this track is really good.
TIL FURTHER NOTICE: The nineteenth and last track of the song features James Blake and 21 Savage, both for the second time in the album. James Blake's performance in this track is amazing. Whether it's in his verse or the chorus, he definitely elevates the whole song and it wouldn't be the same without him. 21 Savage's performance was also good, definitely better than in the last song he featured, but it's only a small portion of the song. Scott also does really well and works great alongside James Blake. The production in the song is also very good thanks to Metro Boomin's well-known production skills. Overall, I think this song is very underrated and is in my top three.
Overall, I think this album is great and Scott met the expectations the fans had on this album. Scott had a diversity of different beats and collaborations that have had me and other fans in awe. Although some songs are very forgettable, a good majority will always be remembered for a long time to come.