Portola Pilot

Summer Music Rewind: A Review

Dylan Gates, Media Director

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Music is a big part of the summer lifestyle: families gather at barbecues listening to classics, teens party to upbeat hip-hop, and up-and-coming artists debut on their first tours. I was heavily anticipating this summer’s music, but it was a huge miss due to shortcomings of production and lyrics in all genres, with only a few exceptions.

Drake: “Scorpion”

“Scorpion” is Drake’s fifth studio album, and while listening to this dull album it became apparent  that Drake may be beginning a decline into irrelevance. Throughout the 90-minute long album he drones on about traditional “Drake-like” topics such as his relationship struggles and how shocked he is at the audacity of up-and-coming rappers.

A central theme in the work is Drake’s entry into fatherhood, and for many the paternal theme of the album overshadows the classic Drake experience of party anthems and emotional ballads.

Nevertheless, in typical Drake fashion, his songs took over summer as both “Nice for What” and “In my Feelings” peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was groaning at the monotony of these songs while they played on what seemed to be an endless repeat.

Troye Sivan: “Bloom”

In Sivan’s second studio album he sets the tone for the rest of his career as an artist to look out for. I was surprised at the level of expression Sivan achieved in his work, considering that Sivan has been fairly silent since his last album in 2015. The vocal features of the album were also impressive, including multiple appearances from Ariana Grande.

This album stood out to me as one of the best of the summer and may foreshadow a new era in mainstream music that brings an end to the outplayed themes of rap and hip-hop.

Travis Scott: “Astroworld”

After being teased for every bit of two years, “Astroworld” is an album I was greatly anticipating. Unfortunately, it was one of the biggest shortcomings of Scott’s career.

The album, allegedly in production for an entire year, seemed choppy and unfinished. Supposedly the theme of the album was to take the listener on an extraterrestrial journey, which explains the lo-fi beats and spacey production, but does not explain Scott’s lack of meaningful lyrics and wordplay.

Needless to say, I thought summer’s music was subpar. However, looking forward there are some new artists on the scene, such as Troye Sivan, who may siege the tenure of rap and hip-hop, which have both dominated the charts for what seems like a decade.

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Summer Music Rewind: A Review