Ever since the world heard the song “White Iverson” in 2016, 24-year-old musician Post Malone has been riding the Billboard top charts and imprinting his distinct style on the hip-hop and rap community. Turn on any radio station that plays current hits, go to any party, shop in any grocery store and I am sure you will hear a song by Post Malone.
“Hollywood’s Bleeding” is Post Malone’s third album and features his unmistakable voice that floats over masterfully rhymed lyrics to successfully create songs that cause the listener to get lost. The album was released on Sept. 9 and has already topped Billboard’s chart giving Post his second No. 1 album, following his 2018 album “Beerbongs & Bentleys.”
This album was nothing out of the ordinary of what fans would expect from Post. Fully showcased in both “Goodbyes” is Post’s signature faded yet sharp vocals accompanied by extremely catchy produced beats and a heavy autotuned rap verse from Young Thug. In “Wow.” Post’s rap vocals are on full display, although I would not say he is truly a full blown rap artist, but rather a perfect balance of the rap and pop sound.
The album could not be considered a hip-hop/rap album without the occasional flex. “I’m so rich… 50 carats on my fist” Post proclaims in “Saint-Tropez” sounding like he is walking through a haunted maze filled with bass speakers. “On the Road” also has this distorted haunted sound to it Post’s washed out slower verse contrasted with sharp rapped verses from Meek Mill and Lil Baby.
“A Thousand Bad Times” also stays safely on brand for Post, combining a memorable melody with his more pop centered vocals. As a fan of Post, I appreciate that he is keeping to his original style but also respect how he is choosing to branch out into new ones.
This album took a step into the rock genre, and Post was able to seamlessly modernize rock-and-roll music by mixing it with his personal style. “Take What You Want” opens with a verse sung by Ozzy Osbourne accompanied by heavy amounts of electrical and bass guitar transitioning into a rap verse featuring Travis Scott.
Post’s combination of these two styles gives the sound a distinct 80s rock song with a touch of modern hip-hop/rap influence. Post chooses to showcase his falsetto more than ever in this album which leads to more light and upbeat songs. “Allergic” shows Post moving away from his general mopey/sad vocals to more 80s pop-rock inspired style, incorporating a sharp electric guitar.
The simple and cheery song “I’m Gonna Be” features simple electric guitar chords, produced beats, and Post’s falsetto quickly flying over through the melody. The album has its fair share of duets, Swae Lee accompines Post in the hit single “Sunflower” and Post sings in upbeat syncopation with Sza in “Staring at the Sun.” When listening to both of these songs back-to-back they sound extremely similar so if “Sunflower” was one of your summer jams “Staring at the Sun” will definitely please you.
In “Die for Me” a typical pop-rap beat is accompanied by rap verses featuring Future and an annoying verse featuring Halsey. Future’s verse was definitely the stand out of the song, but overall it fell short and Halsey did not add anything to make the song amazing.
“Enemies” is much like “Die for Me” but it is far more upbeat with a much more memorable melody, and features DaBaby. Songs that did not stand out to me were “Internet,” “Myself,” “I Know.” The beginning of “Internet” sounds like Post is singing the “E-I-E-I-O’s” from “Old McDonald” which really threw the whole song off for me.
“Myself” simply left me wanting a more bass driven melody because it was extremely slow. The slow tempo made it sound like Post was just whining about his life as he repeatedly sings, “I wish I could’ve been there myself.” “I know” had a fairly catchy melody but that is all; it had no dimensions. Post’s disconnected voice accompanied by produced beats makes it feel like you are in a dream.
“Circles” highlights Post’s more bleary and almost sad sounding vocals as he sings, “Runaway, but we’re running in circles.” His vocals are accompanied by simple yet compelling bass guitar chords and drum beats. This song was a step away from the pop-rap realm of Post’s style as it was one of the slower songs on the album, which made it personally my second favorite song on the album.
Although “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is the opener of the album, I thought I would save the best for last. I really liked how this song found the perfect tempo to align with the showcased guitar chords and the perfect transition to a more bass driven melody.
The opening of the song has a very haunted feeling, with vocals that almost sound like ghosts make way for Post to come in and quietly sing, “Hollywood’s bleeding, vampires feeding, darkness turns to dust.” As the song progresses, it drops the haunted feeling and gets into a more pop-rock driven song, which I found compelling.
Post Malone incorporated many new styles into “Hollywood’s Bleeding” while staying true to the style that made him famous. I would definitely suggest giving this album a listen because it is for sure one of the best hip-hop/rap albums of 2019.