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In the immortal words of H-Town, “Somebody’s rocking’ knockin’ the boots.” Musically Houston, Texas has been “knocking’ the boots” for decades now, producing some of the most popular artists from the top 40, ranging wildly in styles, including Beyonce Knowles, Kenny Rogers, ZZ Top, Paul Wall, Clint Black, Hillary Duff and many many more. None of these artists have the spotlight aimed on them so brightly in this moment as Travis Scott, who has taken the world of hip-hop by storm over the last few years. His latest, Astroworld is helping him to transcend the world of hip-hop and crossover into the mainstream world of popular culture, with a little help from his very famous spouse. Few artists have received the massive welcome he has at the Coachella music festival, for a non-headliner, he upstaged most of the big names performing at the 2017 iteration of the festival.
This new album, Astroworld has brought new dimension to Scott’s catalog, and a deeper exploration of concepts that have both biographical and esoteric significance to Mr. Scott. The album’s title is taken from a classic feature of the Houston, TX landscape, now long defunct and having descended into ruins. The title of this album gives us a peek into what must have been one of the centerpieces of his early years growing up in Houston. Sonically we’re seeing some of the most fully realized arrangements, and some of the most engaging and immediate soundscapes in one of Scott’s productions. The Astroworld title is extremely fitting on album opener “Stargazing” providing an almost etherial backdrop to lyrics that set the tone of the journey of this record. The references to psychedelics lend themselves well to the world he has created within the frame of his imagination.
This album is one of Travis Scott’s most fully realized, both lyrically and creating an experience that sustains the length of a full LP. I think Astroworld will split the core of his fanbase, but will win over new converts to the Travis Scott sound, the album is already generating buzz from musical spheres outside of those previously initiated. If you are already a fan then this record is a no-brainer to purchase immediately on vinyl, the only format that matters.
Check out our review of Post Malone’s classic “Stoney” here.