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The student news site of Center Hill High School.

The Pony Express

The student news site of Center Hill High School.

The Pony Express

Review: Travis Scott’s “Utopia” brings brand new Travis but falls short in places.

Arthur Roman Jr.

Travis Scott’s UTOPIA is the fourth studio album in his discography. Does it lack? Could it be better? How would I rate it?

Knowing Travis’s past work and his groundbreaking sound with his unique style, I was glad to discover he was going to try and change it up a bit for this project. Two years ago when he had his ASTROWORLD incident, he took a hiatus from dropping music. With Utopia, he plans to change the sound and make something different from his past works like “Rodeo” and “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight.”

“HYAENA” is the opening track and has a heavy bass with stringy chord progression. Rapping wise, Scott nails it with nice flows and flashy lyrics. By itself, the song stands out but fits well with Scott’s vision for this project.

The song then transitions to “THANK GOD,” opening with a xylophone and a catchy chorus. “THANK GOD” picks up its tempo to a beat switch with a violin in the background and quick rapping from Travis. Overall, it feels grounded with what should be on this album. The track itself is not unique, but it’s decent.

“MODERN JAM (ft. Teezo Touchdown)” is a masterpiece. It’s a heavy, in-your-face beat with a new and old feel. It’s great and makes me want more. With Teezo Touchdown and Scott’s shouting and rapping, it ties this party beat great and hits everything perfectly.

This is the first three songs to the album and overall feels like a new Travis Scott that I was surprised with, taking risks that immediately got me engaged with the album. To me, UTOPIA really is a place through his music, and with these next songs, he changes it up a bit.

“MELTDOWN (ft. Drake)” is the seventh track and is classic Travis Scott and Drake together. Drake brings up old beef, and clever bars from Scott really compliment this. The beat switch is also great and reminiscent of the duo’s other collaboration, “SICKO MODE.”

The next song is “FE!N (ft. Playboi Carti),” and it’s a major letdown. This collab had unlimited  potential, but the song repeats the same word over and over veering into repetitive. I would have no problem with this, but Carti’s terrible verse and Scott not really adding anything to the song makes this a giant disappointment.

The next song is “DELRESTO (ECHOES) by Beyoncé and Travis Scott.” This song isn’t terrible, but it sounds like it came off Beyoncé’s project “Renaissance” with its melodic party type beat that sounds like “Break My Soul.” With nothing to sink my teeth in, this leaves it overall, quite boring.

Towards the end of the album is where Travis really picks up the slack and creates some great songs that go unconsidered, with songs like “K-POP (ft. Bad Bunny and The Weekend)” and “TIL FURTHER NOTICE (ft. 21 Savage and James Blake)” that stand out, but the highlight at the end is “TELEKINESIS,” whose features, Future and SZA, really steal the show.

“K-POP” is a more pop and energetic song that has hints of Spanish pop and a catchy chorus. The song opens with Scott and a great verse from Bad Bunny. The Weekend’s vocals are great, but his verse lacks lyrical strength and is not very tasteful or creative. Overall, the song is great, just not amazing.

“TELEKINESIS (ft. Future and SZA)” quickly follows up, and this song is nearly perfect. Everyone just absolutely killed it on here with a beat that has hints of inspiration from Kanye West’s Yeezus with some industrialized sound bits that follows an amazing chorus. Future has a great verse and does amazing lyrically with his soothing voice. The main attraction and the absolute best verse on this album with an incredible performance is from SZA. Her singing really goes well with the violin, making this song near perfection and a highlight on the album.

The last song on the album is “TIL FURTHER NOTICE.” This song is good, but I don’t think it’s a great closing track. Considering this is Scott’s album, I was hoping to hear a few words from him but nothing. The 21 Savage feature didn’t feel needed with two other features from him that are way better. Meanwhile, this one just falls short. The James Blake feature also really doesn’t add anything when I can barely hear him.

Overall, Scott did great, he could have done better, and I feel like with more time and clearer cuts, this album could’ve been better. Instead, I was left feeling like some songs belonged on completely other projects. I think this album is great, and there are some amazing songs. My favorites were “MODERN JAM,” “TELEKINESIS,” “I KNOW?”, and “MELTDOWN.’’ My least favorite being “PARASAIL (ft. Dave Chapelle and Yung Lean).” It is so boring lyrically and felt like an interlude.

I give this album a 7/10.


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About the Contributor
Arthur Roman Jr., Opinion Writer

Arthur Roman (he/him) Staff/Opinion Writer

New to The Pony Express staff, Arthur Roman is a freshman at CHHS. While also involved in Speech and Debate and Student Council, he enjoys spending his time collecting vinyls, cooking, and working out. After high school, he hopes to have a career in something he is passionate about, such as making music. When asked about someone who inspires him in the journalism field, Roman shared Bill O’Reilly, due to his passion and commitment.

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