The new school year launched alongside one of the biggest albums of the year, Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” However, as a fan of jazz, 60s rock and alt-rock, I was probably the person least equipped for reviewing Post Malone’s latest release.
Regardless, I commend Malone for his musical talent, as he’s able to make tunes and rhymes that can draw the attention of unlikely listeners like myself. With my first listen through Malone’s sophomore album, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” I found that I was drawn in by Malone’s grasp of blending autotune with his natural voice to make earworms. This trend only continues through his newest album in some of the best ways.
Late October 2018 was when I really noticed Malone’s music, after hearing “Sunflower” from the “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse” soundtrack. Sunflower’s deep lyrics and simple but melodious composition represented the antithesis to all my preconceptions of Malone as an artist. “Sunflower” drew in listeners and had fans singing along around the world. It was only fitting that it was included in “Hollywood’s Bleeding.”
Some of the songs that stood out to me as a listener were “Allergic,” “A Thousand Bad Times” and “I’m Gonna Be,” as each of these had a sound that followed the style of Sunflower. These songs stuck with me because of how different they were in tone and style from the rest of the album. The lyrics of these first two songs blend the story of a doomed relationship with an upbeat melody, making for an interesting mix and adding depth to the album.
With the first three songs kicking off the album, it is clear that Malone is aware of the effect fame and fortune can have on people. “Saint-Tropez” and “Enemies” highlight this fact, as his lyrics describe how, as a famous singer, he can adorn himself in whatever he pleases. However, this comes at the price of friendship, with Malone brooding over having to cut ties with those who only stay close with him for his money. This is a common theme among most rappers, but it’s the way in which Malone comments on the L.A. lifestyle with his music that makes it unique.
Aptly titled “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” the title track shows how the city, drugs, people and lifestyle can suck the life out of celebrities. Other songs that further this point with melancholy moods to match are “Internet” and “Take What You Want,” which point out how he feels the life being sucked out of him in his relationships. Perhaps it’s this blend of melancholy and surreal sounds that make Post Malone the star that he is to us all. These are the songs that appeal to his target audience, and for good reason, as they stack up to his previous albums as well.
Full of collaborations with some of today’s biggest artists like Young Thug, Meek Mill and Future, “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is just what one can expect from Post Malone: a crowd-pleasing autotune-fueled journey that nevertheless feels deeper the more you listen.
Photo by Tore Saetre | Wikipedia