Travis Scott sent a message to Apple Music about his third album, playfully attributed to Stormi, his infant daughter: “Just BUCKLE UP.”
Stormi can’t speak yet, presumably, but the sentiment still rings true for a record named after a closed amusement park in his native Houston. ASTROWORLD delivers its twists and turns via some of Scott’s most personal lyrics yet, unexpected musical arrangements, and a diverse guest list. Frank Ocean pops up on “CAROUSEL” rapping over a muffled loop of the Beastie Boys; “SICKO MODE” features multiple beat changes and Drake halted midverse, playing like some kind of funhouse trip.
Other sideshows along the way include Stevie Wonder playing harmonica, James Blake crooning, The Weeknd emoting, and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker shredding — but the main attraction is still Scott’s life.
On album closer “COFFEE BEAN,” Scott tells an unnamed lover, “Your family told you I’m a bad move…plus I’m already a black dude.” At 17 tracks, ASTROWORLD is like any great theme park: There’s just so much to see.