By Ben Coleman | Contributor
After nearly a year and a half since the release of his last album, “beerbongs & bentleys,” Post Malone has dropped his new album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding.”
Following the release of the infectious and melancholy single “Circles,” Post’s new album received huge amounts of praise from listeners, raking in millions of streams on every song after only a few days since the album’s release.
From the first second of the opening track, “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” the album paints a gaunt image of modern-day showbiz. Post mixes in references to common fantasy tropes, singing, “Hollywood’s bleeding,/vampires feedin’/Darkness turns to dust,” and “Outside, the winter sky turnin’ grey/City up in smoke, it’s only ash when it rains/Howl at the moon and go to sleep in the day,” illustrating the darker side of the life of a celebrity.
This theme of disillusionment with fame is present throughout the album, such as on “A Thousand Bad Times” and “Internet.”
Another extremely prominent lyrical theme on the album is heartbreak. Songs such as “Circles,” “Die For Me” and “Goodbyes” find Post reminiscing on past relationships. Post expresses a range of different emotions present in a breakup, from tragic loneliness to bitterness. The nostalgic lyrics, paired with Post’s unique vocal performances make for hard-hitting emotional moments throughout the entire album.
However, Post’s songs are not all darkness and heartbreak. Songs like “Saint-Tropez,” “On The Road,” “Sunflower” and “Wow.” find Post enjoying his life, partying with friends and looking back on how far he’s progressed as an artist. “Wow.” was released as a single nearly a year ago and has been a fan favorite ever since.
“Sunflower” features Swae Lee and was originally written for the soundtrack for “Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse.” The feel-good hit has been almost inescapable since its release, gaining nearly 1.5 billion streams on Spotify alone.
Instrumentally, “Hollywood’s Bleeding” explores many genres, refusing to conform to one specific musical palette. The ominous synthesizers and electric guitars on “Hollywood’s Bleeding” are switched out for heavy bass and rattling hi-hats on “Saint-Tropez,” only to again be abandoned for distorted guitar and live rock ‘n’ roll drums on “Allergic.”
Post incorporates all of his personal musical interests into his own music, sometimes even mixing drastically different genres within one song, such as on “Take What You Want,” featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott. On this specific track, Post blends hard rock with hip-hop.
Post is unafraid of mixing soft, acoustic songs like “Circles” with powerful hip-hop bangers like “Die For Me” on the same album. Malone mixes the reverb-drenched vocals of alternative, the acoustic guitars of indie, the 808 drums of trap, and even the orchestral swells of classical music, seamlessly blending these diverse musical elements throughout the entirety of “Hollywood’s Bleeding.”
Although there are a few songs that seem a bit one-dimensional or repetitive, Post has crafted some truly infectious and touching pop songs on his new album. His unique lyricism mixed with his wide array of musical explorations make for an exciting and emotional listen.