Post Malone is one of the strangest superstars to come out of the music industry in recent memory. Gaining his popularity mainly off memes, many believed his breakout single “White Iverson” would be his only hit. Until he released another one, then another, then another. And as Post seemed to lose his mainstream appeal, even tattooing “Stay Away” on his face, including a plethora of other things all over his body, he only seemed to get bigger. His 2016 debut album Stoney was a huge success. And he had a huge 2018, releasing his now triple-platinum selling album Beerbongs & Bentleys, as well as landing himself a spot on TV commercials and movie soundtracks. Now Post Malone is back with his newest studio album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, and the question is: Will this album continue to keep Post Malone at the top of the charts?
I was actually pleasantly surprised by the first half of this album. It wasn’t great but it was mostly consistent. The title track is a fantastic opener, with an entertaining song multiple great beat switches. “Enemies” is a song I can see being a success, with a feature from the on-fire DaBaby. It has everything a typical rap song has: generic beat, an annoyingly catchy hook, and quality production. Although DaBaby’s verse feels sonically out-of-place next to Malone’s grandiose singing. “A Thousand Bad Times” has some addicting production and a memorable hook, but some questionable lyrics (“Without that face, girl, you wouldn’t get far”). Then “Circles”, a song with awful verses and an underwhelming instrumental, but a captivating chorus. “Die For Me” sounds like a generic radio hit, with Post Malone and Halsey going back and forth with a story of a broken relationship we’ve heard a thousand times before. “On The Road” is a more trap-oriented song, certain to make it onto the most popular Spotify playlists. Meek Mill’s choppy flow is pretty unpleasant, but Lil Baby is surprisingly great. He uses his drawling flow, something I usually hate, to produce a pretty melodic performance. The next song, “Take What You Want”, I consider to be the end of the first half of the album. It’s the closest Post gets to a straight rock song, with an electric guitar based beat and a great Ozzy Ozbourne feature. But, shockingly, Travis Scott did not deliver on this. Usually he’s pretty consistent, but his voice his is so drowned in effects and doesn’t fit the rock and roll aesthetic.
After this song, the album really takes a nose-dive. Some of the albums most annoying moments follow. Awful regurgitations of pop cliches like “I’m Gonna Be” and “Myself”, which could have been written and performed by a robot, and songs like “I Know” and “Internet”, which lack in really anything memorable (except for the odd production on Internet, which sounds like it would fit more in a Broadway production). The only thing to alleviate the pain of these songs are the previously released singles, like the unforgettable “Goodbyes” with a fantastic Young Thug feature and the infinitely catchy “Wow”. I’m not really sure why “Sunflower” is on this album, in my mind, that song belongs to the Spider-Verse soundtrack, but nonetheless, the song is an instant classic. It’s passionate, melodic, and it never gets old.
To answer my question, yes, this album will mostly likely put Post Malone at the top of the charts and the top of the world once again. It’s undeniable: Post Malone knows how to make a hit. Expensive-sounding production, high-profile features, and trendy lyrics mixing drugs, braggadocio, and heartbreak that gets extremely old by the end of the album. But for a full-length album to work, it needs to be more than a collection of 17 singles, a bunch of wanna-be hits thrown in with a couple half-baked ideas, some of them good, some of them bad, most of them painfully mediocre.
- Hollywood’s Bleeding
- Take What You Want
- On The Road
- A Thousand Bad Times
- Die For Me
- Staring At The Sun
- I Know
- I’m Gonna Be