It doesn’t matter if you like Post Malone’s music, everyone can agree that the pop star has had an extremely successful 2019. At the biggest music event of the year, the 61st Grammy Awards, Malone was not only nominated for four awards, including the major categories of album of the year and artist of the year, but he also performed at the show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In July, Malone announced his Runaway Tour which, will begin on Sept. 14 and run to the end of November.
The proverbial cherry on top of Malone’s flourishing career is the release of his third studio album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” The album can be characterized by four things: Malone’s characteristically versatile voice, addictive hooks, high-profile guest singers and melancholy lyrics. However, there are some surprises hidden among the long list of tracks.
Up, Down and All Around
The first adjective that comes to mind when thinking about the tenor of Post Malone’s voice is raspy. And even before you’re one minute into the album, Malone’s guttural voice pierces through the music in the song “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” It’s almost too hard to listen to. Someone needs to check on Post Malone, it sounds like his heart is being ripped out.
But his voice is so much more than dark and raspy. In “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” Malone showcases his higher, more dreamy and airy registers. “Circles,” with its ethereal quality, can testify to an uncharacteristically soft and floaty Malone. His voice reaches new heights in “Staring at the Sun” and provides a refreshing pairing to SZA’s silky smooth voice.
Whether he’s singing low or high, gravelly or dreamily, Malone’s voice cuts through the ambient noise, making “Hollywood’s Bleeding” a go-to for short drives to the supermarket, raging frat parties and anything in between.
Hook, Line and Sinker
While the verses might not be the most memorable, except maybe, “I got so many hits, can’t remember them all / while I’m takin’ a s—t, look at the plaques on the wall” from “On the Road,” the choruses are highly addicting.
Each track from the album has a catchy chorus, it’s just that some are catchier than others. The frontrunners for “Most Likely To Get Stuck in Your Head” are: “Enemies,” “Allergic,” “Staring at the Sun” and “Wow.” And just try and listen to “Circles” once without it getting stuck in your head. I dare you.
The catchiness of the song depends on the beat, rather than just the lyrics. The beat of “Allergic” is bright and obviously more pop-influenced than many of the other songs on the album. You might catch yourself tapping your foot along to the rhythm without realizing it.
“Wow” has some of the most scream-able lyrics of the album: “Yeah, your grandmama probably know me (know me) / Get more bottles, these bottles are lonely / It’s a moment when I show up, got ’em sayin’, wow.” Everyone will be able to find at least one song off the album to keep on repeat.
And the List Goes On and On
As a major celebrity himself, Malone has been able to round up an impressive array of artists to be featured on “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” There are 10 features, all of which fit perfectly within the album.
Halsey and Future bring the drama and artfully spice things up on “Die for Me,” while Young Thugs high-pitched, yelping verse on “Goodbyes” steals the spotlight from Malone. In a surprise blast from the past, Ozzy Osbourne is featured on “Take What You Want” and is juxtaposed with Travis Scott and his futuristic voice, which makes up for Post Malone’s technical lethargy as a rapper.
In the Feels or Down in the Dumps?
Melancholy lyrics are nothing new for Post Malone and “Hollywood’s Bleeding” proves that Moody Post is still alive and kicking. The darkest lyrics tend to revolve around breakups and lost love.
“Allergic” details a toxic love affair which spirals into a destructive cycle of constantly breaking up and getting back together. “I took your pills and your drugs just to feel something else / ’cause I can’t feel you no more / So sad, but true / You’re friends with all my demons / the only one that sees them.”
“Take What You Want” similarly describes the angst and pain of an abusive relationship: “I feel you crumble in my arms down to your heart of stone / You bled me dry just like the tears you never show / Why don’t you take what you want from me?”
Several of the tracks on “Hollywood’s Bleeding” reveal Malone’s distrust of the media and his public paranoia. Featuring Da Baby, “Enemies” reveals Malone’s deep-seated distrust of people: “Used to have friends now I got enemies (ooh) / Used to keep ’em close, now they dead to me (damn) / Used to have friends now I got enemies (ooh).” Produced by Kanye West, “Internet” is laced with paranoid lyrics focused on social media. “Paranoid since they’ve been leakin’ my s—t / Wonder if it’ll come out on the web.”
The titular track of the album is a blatant critique of the gluttonous Hollywood lifestyle. “Everyone’s gone, but no one’s leavin’ / Nobody left but us / Tryna chase a feelin’, but we’ll never feel it / Ridin’ on the last train home / Dyin’ in our sleep, we’re livin’ out a dream / We only make it out alone.” In his moody, melancholy voice, Malone reveals that the Hollywood dream is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Many of Malone’s characteristic techniques, the growling voice, lyrics about grueling breakups and his ever-elusive mix of pop, rap and rock, are present in his new album. While Malone proves that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he also proves that he has grown as a songwriter and as an artist. His versatility and ability to hook his audience proves that Post Malone is one of the most prolific artists of our time.