At this point, I really doubt that I have to do much of a background for Post Malone; if you do not know who he is at this point, you need to show me that rock you are living under because I may have to join you. It is pretty incredible and awesome that this dude has become so freaking popular in such a short amount of time; since he burst onto the scene in 2015, he has easily been one of the most popular artists on the planet. I mean he even has his own limited edition crocs; if that doesn’t say superstardom, I do not know what does. Posty has gotten so big that at this point the record labels will seemingly let him do whatever he wants. The dude can make any song style sell, so there is not much of a reason to restrict him. Honestly, that is pretty awesome, because Post Malone is so unique and talented. But unfortunately, what Holllywood’s Bleeding has in artistic freedom, it lacks in cohesion and focus. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great songs on this album, and it is not bad at all. The problem is the number of excess filler songs that just are not needed and the fact that there is really isn’t much commonality in the sound or theme of this record besides the fact that Posty is sad. I mean think about the singles that came off of this record; can you definitively tell someone what ‘Wow,’ ‘Sunflower,’ ‘Circles,’ and ‘Goodbyes’ have in common besides Post Malone’s vocal style? It just doesn’t seem like this album has much of a direction. That being said, Hollywood’s Bleeding does showcase Post Malone’s talent for writing catchy hooks and his ability to make any kind of music he wants, which is rad.
I can’t lie to y’all, in my opinion this album gets off to a pretty rocky start. I do not really know what is going on with the first song, ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding.’ It starts out with Post Malone singing to a woman that has broken his heart(shocker, right? haha) over a very dark and somber guitar riff, and honestly it just kind of bores me. Post has a great voice do not get me wrong, but I do not know if easy listening slow rock is really the way he should go. Near the end of the song, their is a strange trap breakdown, which does not really do much to add to the track. I kind of wish this one was just left off the album, which is not a great feeling to have with the first track. The second song, ‘Saint-Tropez,’ is not much better in my opinion. Honestly, I feel like for casual listeners, this will be one of the bigger songs on the album. It kind of sounds like a throwaway for Travis Scott’s Astroworld album. ‘Saint-Tropez’ is just a moody trap banger without much substance. It is not a bad song, but it doesn’t do much for me. The first song that I do really dig is ‘Enemies,’ which features Dababy. This track is also a typical melodic trap banger, but it has a lot more of a solid theme and structure than the one before it. I really love the chorus. I can not wait to be out at the bar and hear everyone scream: Used to have friends now I have enemies! Used to keep them close, now they dead to me! Dababy brings so much energy to this track as well. There is a reason that every big rapper is getting that guy to feature on their music right now; Dababy just has that “it” factor. The next track, ‘Allergic,’ is a major highlight for this record. This is the first of many times on this record where Post Malone goes way out of his comfort zone(or at least way out of the style of music we are used to hearing from him. This song is very much influenced by some of the alternative rock that was popular in the early 2000s, which is when Posty(and I) grew up. ‘Allergic’ reminds me of The Strokes or maybe even some early Vampire Weekend. This is not a style of music that has been made very frequently in the last 15-20 years, and Post Malone’s take on it is super natural and dope.
After another track that just feels in unnecessary filler electro pop (it is called ‘Thousand Bad Times’ if you need to know), we come to what is probably the biggest dud on the album, ‘Circles.’ When this one was dropped as a single, I am not going to lie, I was a little worried about the record. Like I said before, I do think it is cool that Post Malone is being allowed to branch out like this and basically make any kind of music he wants. In fact, maybe it is a good thing that he is getting songs that sound like this out of his system. I really hope he does not go down this route again. ‘Circles’ has the vibe of an indie pop band from the early 2010s; it reminds me a lot of the bands Phoenix or Neon Trees. I was not really into this sound at the time, and there is a reason why it faded out; it is just boring. If I wanted to hear this kind of cheesy alternative music, I would time travel back to 2011 and walk into a Hollister. After ‘Circles,’ the album starts to really look up again. The next two songs on the album, ‘Die For Me,’ which features Future and Halsey, and ‘On the Road,’ which features Meek Mill and Lil Baby, have that dark emo pop-trap vibe that Post Malone has mastered. These tracks are both just really well put together, with captivating hooks and story lines as well as awesome chemistry between the artists. I was especially impressed with Halsey’s performance in ‘Die For Me.’ I have never been much of a Halsey fan(I do not think she is untalented, her music just is not interesting to me), but she performs at a really high level on this song and I love what her vocals do to the vibe. For ‘On the Road,’ Meek Mill brings that high level energy that he is known for and gives the emo vibe a harder and angrier element that is cool.
I feel you crumble in my arms down to my heart of stone. You bled me dry just like the tears you never show…
We have finally reached what is probably the biggest highlight of the record. ‘Take What You Want’ is a hard and emotional and moody rock/emo trap joint that contains a feature from none other than the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzie Ozbourne. Post and Ozzy sound great together, and this song is written so well. Travis Scott also throws in a weird and trippy voice on this cut. The finale of the song is the best part; is a sick hard as hell guitar solo at the end by Post that really brings all of the emotion and intensity of the song to a climax. It is a super cool track. After those three dope songs in a row, I was feeling more optimistic again, then ‘I’m Gonna Be’ came on and I was disappointed again. I am not even going to talk about this song or the next song,(which is called ‘Staring At The Sun and features SZA. The waste of her feature is tragic man) because they are just boring melancholy trap cuts that do not serve much of a purpose in this tracklist in my opinion. Honestly, even though it is still extremely popular, I sort of feel the same way about the next song as well. We first heard ‘Sunflower,’ which features Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd, at the end of last year, as it was the lead single/theme song for the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Considering how eccentric and unique and fun both Posty and Swae are, I expected so much more out of this collaboration. Once again, I will preface this by saying it isn’t a bad song. I mean it was the number one song in the world for a while, so there no way I can say it is definitively bad. It honestly just bores me. Neither Post or Swae Lee brought the energy that makes their music fun. Also, once again, It really does not seem to fit into the theme of this album. Compared to the rest of the content here, ‘Sunflower’ feels pretty random and unnecessary to me on this record. I do not have much positive stuff to say about the next song, ‘Internet,’ as well. I guess the concept of the song is cool. I mean, we are all way too consumed with the internet. But the synths on this song are weird and once again, this song just bores me. At least it fits the feel and style of the album.
I want you out of my head. I want you out of my bed tonight. There’s no way I can save you, because I need to be saved too. I’m not good at goodbyes.
When ‘Goodbyes,‘ which features Young Thug(who dropped one of the best albums of the year in August) was released as a single for this record, I was very excited. The emo pop trap vibe on this one is perfection. The hook and melody are so damn catchy, and Post Malone’s vocals are so pretty and smooth on this one. The Young Thug verse goes so unnecessarily hard and I love it. It is a really cool track. I wish the album was more schematically similar to this song. The album closes out with another throwaway track, ‘Myself,’ a weird and funky and cool pop track, ‘I Know,’ and the boring single that is ‘Wow.’ I do not have much to say about ‘Myself.’ I just was not feeling it. ‘I Know’ has a really cool flow and vocal style. This song is another example of the fact that Post Malone really can make any kind of music that he wants. I do wish the beat broke down earlier in the track, though. For being a party song ‘Wow.’ does not have a ton of energy. The best thing about this song is the video of the comedian Bert Kreischer hip hop dancing to it shirtless. Look that up because is hilarious, trust me. I guess i just would have expected the album to end on a much harder and emotional note considering it is called Hollywood’s Bleeding.
I will admit that maybe I am being way too hard on Post for this review. I mean as I mentioned throughout, most of these songs are not bad. There are a couple I am just not into at all, but for the most part these songs aren’t bad. They just do not flow together in an album well. I don’t know if this album really ever had a direction of any sorts; I think Posty just wanted to try as many different sounds as he could. This guy has way too much potential to put something as scattered as this out. If you want to check it out for yourself, stream Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding below.