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Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

Not quite utopia

Travis Scott’s newest album, while impressive, fails to live up to the hype
Alison Yang
Travis Scott’s fourth full-length album “UTOPIA” features disconnected songs and thinly-veiled attempts at virality. While the album may offer moments of brilliance, it leaves listeners yearning for the depth and authenticity found in his earlier works.

After over five years of silence, hip-hop artist Travis Scott has finally returned. Releasing his fourth full-length studio album “UTOPIA” on July 28, the hip-hop artist marked his long-awaited return with a record-breaking project. Collaborating with artists like 21 Savage, Beyonce, Drake, The Weeknd and more, “UTOPIA” takes listeners on a wild ride through the mind of one of hip-hop’s most enigmatic figures. This star-studded album is a musical kaleidoscope, filled with lyrics and production that are both intriguing and perplexing. The project received mixed reviews from critics, with some hailing it as a masterpiece of innovation while others see it as a “shiny, empty spectacle.”

“UTOPIA” showcases Scott’s ability to blend outstanding production with different musical styles. The Ye-inspired production is top-notch, with tracks like “Modern Jam” and “Circus Maximus” drawing heavy inspiration from his spontaneous and creative style. These tracks are not mere imitations but a harmonious blend of influences, each infused with Scott’s unique flair. From the choice of beats to the melody construction, Scott crafts a cohesive and diverse auditory experience with this album that showcases his innovative approach to music.

The clever collaborations in “UTOPIA” also highlight Scott’s attention to detail and his ability to bring out the best in his fellow artists. With Sampha and Bon Iver’s dreamy riffing in “My Eyes,” he creates an ethereal atmosphere that transcends typical rap boundaries. Playboi Carti’s unique vocal tricks in “Fe!n” also add an unexpected twist, showcasing Scott’s willingness to experiment and push the envelope. The album’s collaborations add variety to the intriguing production throughout, making “UTOPIA” one of the more multifaceted albums in Scott’s discography.

Despite its celebrity-packed lineup, “UTOPIA” has also been criticized for its lack of emotional depth and originality. Pitchfork describes the album as a “big, empty rap blockbuster” that lives in the shadow of Kanye West’s works without capturing any emotional appeal. Some tracks such as “K-Pop,” featuring famous artists The Weeknd and Bad Bunny whose presence often feels out of place throughout the song, have been called out for their commercial appeal rather than artistic sincerity. The album’s ambition to be a global hit makes it feel, at times, disconnected and inauthentic. 

“UTOPIA” is a complex album that delights in some areas and disappoints in others. Its innovative production and collaborations, while pleasant, are overshadowed by its lack of emotional resonance. Unlike previous projects like “ASTROWORLD,” this album’s over-the-top attempt at appealing to the masses has instead led to a loss of Scott’s personal touch, making it feel hollow at times. “UTOPIA” proves Scott’s capability to create a spectacle but falls short in delivering a truly groundbreaking experience. While the album may offer listeners moments of brilliance, it undoubtedly leaves others yearning for the depth and authenticity found in his earlier works.

Rating: 3.5/5

Top 3 Tracks: “My Eyes,” “Thank God,” “Fe!n”

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About the Contributors
Edward Huang, Winged Post Co-Managing Editor
Edward Huang (12) is a co-managing editor for the Winged Post, and this is his fourth year on staff. This year, Edward wants to continue creating unique designs for Winged Post while covering community events. In his free time, he likes to listen to music and go on runs.
Alison Yang, Co-A&E and Lifestyle Editor
Alison Yang (11) is the co-arts and entertainment and lifestyle editor for Harker Aquila and the Winged Post, and this is her third year on staff. Alison is looking forward to getting to know more people and working on photography. She also likes to hang out with her cat Schrödinger, play Russian Fishing 4 and watching bad movies.

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