By Gabe Dooley, Contributor
Key Tracks: “sdp interlude,” “outside,” “goosebumps”
Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight is Travis Scott’s follow up to his largely successful studio debut, Rodeo, which thrived off of its innovations in beat production and songwriting. Moving onto his sophomore record, Travis seems to be taking a darker, more gothic direction. Unfortunately, despite this change in sound, much of the substance that made Rodeo a captivating album has been lost during this new project.
Some songs off of this LP come off as bland, empty and at times even unlistenable. “biebs in the trap” could be considered one of the trashier songs of 2016. Nav’s feature on this track sounds like the bragging of a high school bully. His incessantly obnoxious lines lack any hint of creativity or thought, and Scott’s lyrics on the track are nonsensical and illegible, smeared in murky, unintelligible synthesizers, making for a very forgettable listen.
“coordinate” and “thru the late night” also serve to underwhelm with their lack of substance. Of course, something to be appreciated about this LP is that the difficult moments help the more fruitful tracks stand out. Songs like “goosebumps” and “outside” shine like true pieces of art next to “biebs in the trap,” and their atmospheric and artistic beats demand for re-listens. “goosebumps” features eerie swaying synths that hang over warped bass tones that compliment Kendrick Lamar’s erratic vocal delivery to no end, and Scott’s hook itself is chillingly memorable. The unique and sinister instrumentation over the hard hitting beat of “outside” fits seamlessly with Travis’s dark lyricism, making it a definite highlight on the LP.
Even though “pick up the phone” has already been out for months, it is still just as fun and upbeat as it has always been, standing out as probably the most energetic track on the record. Overall, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight has some fantastic songs, but is brought down by a handful of lazy tracks.