Travis Scott’s highly-anticipated album, “Utopia,” was released on July 28, 2023, and while it has garnered rave reviews from his devoted fans, one notable music publication, Pitchfork, holds a contrasting opinion. Despite receiving praise from other esteemed outlets like Variety and Billboard, Pitchfork’s less-than-glowing review has frustrated some fans.
The album is an expansive blockbuster rap experience, featuring a star-studded lineup of artists, including Future, SZA, 21 Savage, Drake, Playboi Carti, and more. “Utopia” showcases a departure from Travis Scott’s signature style, as he delves into elements reminiscent of his past work, even referencing his contributions to Kanye West’s “Yeezus.”
While Scott’s loyal supporters have embraced the album, critics have found reasons to be skeptical. Some perceive the album as a superficial attempt at creating an attractive facade, and others criticize the use of features, comparing it unfavorably to Kanye West’s meticulous approach to curating his projects.
As with any high-profile release, diverse opinions are expected, and Travis Scott’s passionate fan base is not immune to strong reactions. Despite the divided response, “Utopia” remains a significant moment in Scott’s career, showcasing his evolution as an artist and continuing to generate discussions within the music community.
Pitchfork’s review of Utopia
Three days after the release of Travis Scott’s highly anticipated album “Utopia,” Pitchfork published their candid review of the 19-track record, which boasted an impressive lineup of collaborators.
Featuring fellow rap stars Playboi Carti and Future, as well as R&B queens Beyoncé and SZA, “Utopia” has been one of the most eagerly awaited albums of the 2020s. However, according to Pitchfork, the album fell short of expectations, being described as a “hollow spectacle” that disconnected the rapper from his Southern roots. Reviewer Alphonse Pierre criticized the beat on the track “Fe!n” as played, but acknowledged Playboi Carti’s unique vocal approach. Nevertheless, Travis Scott’s contributions were deemed lacking, mostly relying on ad-libbing.
Tracks like “Skizo” and “Topia Twins” were labeled as “deflections” and “scared rapping,” while the overall production of “Utopia” was criticized for flattening Scott’s Southern identity, making him feel disconnected from any specific regional roots.
Notably, Pitchfork writer Alphonse Pierre gave the album a 5.7 out of 10, marking it as the publication’s lowest-rated Travis Scott album.
The album’s conclusive rating by Pitchfork was 5.7, a score that raised eyebrows among fans. Notably, the rating placed “Utopia” lower than an unexpected contender – the 2021 album “Peppa’s Adventures: The Album” by Peppa Pig, a beloved children’s character. Peppa Pig’s album received a score of 6.5 from the publication and was lauded as “inspirational” and “compelling.”
Travis Scott’s dedicated fan base took to Twitter to defend their favorite artist, as is often seen with fan groups. Some fans questioned the reviewer’s credibility, while others brought up Pierre’s previous reviews of major rap album releases. In response, it was pointed out that Alphonse Pierre is a reputable writer with substantial knowledge of the hip-hop genre. Nevertheless, music fans often take reviews personally, leading to passionate defenses and sometimes heated discussions in online communities.
Travis Scott’s fans reaction to Pitchfork’s review
Travis Scott’s fans have been voicing their accusations that Pitchfork deliberately posted a scathing review of “Utopia” to generate discussion. However, upon examining Alphonse Pierre’s other reviews, particularly of rap albums, it becomes evident that he is known for being a harsh critic.
Pierre rated Drake’s “Honestly, Nevermind” with a 6.6 and Kanye West’s “Donda 2” received a low score of 4.3, showcasing his critical approach to reviewing albums within the rap genre.
Recently, Pierre gave a positive review to Sexxy Red’s “Hood Hottest Princess” album, awarding it an eight out of 10. Despite this, some fans argue that his 5.7 rating for Travis Scott’s “Utopia” seems too low, suggesting that they would rate it around 6 to 6.5, acknowledging the subjective nature of personal preferences in music.
Many fans feel that Pitchfork has been unjustly harsh towards Travis Scott with this review, expressing their disappointment in the outlet’s assessment of the album.
It’s essential to note that while Peppa Pig’s album received a more impressive review, it was evaluated by a different writer. Therefore, Pierre’s review of “Utopia” and the Peppa Pig album may not be directly comparable, as each review reflects the individual writer’s opinions.
Despite the polarizing opinions surrounding “Utopia,” the album is still considered a strong contender for Album of the Year by many. While it may not meet everyone’s expectations, it remains a topic of discussion and contention among music fans.
As always, opinions on music can be highly subjective, and different listeners will have varied views on the same project. The album’s reception showcases the diverse tastes and expectations of the audience, contributing to the ongoing conversation about the project and its impact on the music world.