Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld’ is filled with so many different sounds and rhythms, it’s hard to see how anyone could stay sane while creating it.
Take STARGAZING for instance, which seems to literally contain two songs on one track. While the song begins with a synth that hints at calmness, that idea quickly disappears as Travis uses his demonic-autotune.
While STARGAZING at its birth is simple, Travis’ complex nature envelops it quickly before it can breathe in its simplicity. The result is a complex track that combines synths and keyboards with falsetto autotunes and 808s.
The amount of overlapping sounds confused me at first, I almost thought my Spotify was had a glitch. SICKO MODE, for instance, is a banger on the album that features Drake. The song begins with some sensual singing by Drake over a relaxed synth, then the beat drops and Drake drops a few heavier bars. And then, a complete switch, Travis completely cuts off Drake’s verse to inject his own, not as a continuous verse, but more akin to a stop-and-go technique.
It almost sounds like a ride at an amusement park with different altitude; the song rises like a roller coaster, and then switches to a different speed, going down and up and any which way.
With Astroworld, Travis wants to pay homage to an amusement park that was taken away from his hometown, a big, mean bureaucracy stole the fun out his home, and now, in his own way, Travis wants to revitalize the spirit of that park. In doing so, he creates his own version of an amusement park, on his album anyone who wants a shot at having fun can hop on, as features from Drake all the way to Juice WRLD prove that point.
Travis, the architect of fun, is the glue that holds all these different sounds and voices together. If Astroworld is the park, then Travis is the kinetic energy that other wanderlust hedonists are magnetized towards. But being Travis, being the the glue, holds an enormous amount of weight. And it seems to take a toll on Travis throughout the album… On songs like STOP TRYING TO BE GOD and WAKE UP, Travis seems to be reminding himself to relax, and pleading others not to bring him back into reality.
Though Travis is the mastermind behind Astroworld, perhaps he too would rather be an ordinary person at the park, free to have fun, ride rides, and eat popcorn, rather than carrying the weight of the entire park within himself.
Astroworld is now available on Spotify and Deezer.