Post Malone: if you’ve turned on the radio or opened your Spotify account in the last two years, chances are you’ve heard the name. The four-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Grapevine, Texas racked up over seven-and-a-half billion streams in 2018, according to the entertainment media outlet Billboard.
Malone is a star of the internet age. Blending genres like pop, trap, country and rock effortlessly, his unique approach to hip-hop music undoubtedly labels him a trendsetter.
The 24-year old’s last two albums peaked at number four and number one on the Billboard 200, and his fans expect nothing less from his third studio album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding”, released Sept. 6.
Malone somehow manages to cherry-pick from numerous genres, merging them to create a vibe you just can’t put your finger on. The album begins on a downhearted note with the title track “Hollywood’s Bleeding”; there, he opens up about losing love, a theme that looms largely over the album.
A pre-released single on the album, “Circles” speaks with the same melancholy tune. Lyrics like “Seasons change and our love went cold/ Feed the flame ‘cause we can’t let go” express the growth of his sound over the years and his newfound solace in sharing his pain.
The tracks “Saint-Tropez” and “Enemies” follow his classic algorithm: boastful lyrics, strong bass and catchy sing-song choruses. These songs recrown Malone as the unstoppable hitmaker his fans know him to be.
Taking a turn toward bouncy indie-rock, the songs “Allergic” and “I’m Gonna Be” will have a long shelf life on the charts but are two of the weakest songs on the album.
“Take What You Want” surprised many with features from Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott. It’s definitely not one of Malone’s best songs, but the combination of Osbourne’s ageless voice and Scott’s robotic backing are a fascinating addition to the album. Other songs on the record, such as
“Die for Me” with Halsey and Future and “Goodbyes” with Young Thug, are far from lackluster. Halsey kills her verse, leaving listeners with the catchy line “I sold 15 million copies of a breakup note.”
Arguably Post Malone’s best single, “Sunflower,” featuring Swae Lee shows up on the album after hitting No. 1 earlier this year. However, its presence among other soon-to-be top-10 hits after it’s major success seems a little excessive.
The album concludes with the pop-rap song “Wow.” The immensely popular pre-released single has the catchiest chorus of any well-liked rap song released in a while. Post Malone has mastered the art of generating these songs: “Got so many hits, can’t remember ‘em all”, he boasts in “On the Road.”
Besides a few unmemorable tracks, “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is one of Malone’s stronger albums. He knows exactly what his fans gravitate toward, and this album gives it to them. He simply plays it safe relying on the probability that streaming algorithms will reward him once again.
By Lea Whitley
Photo provided by Wikimedia Commons