POST MALONE – TWELVE CARAT TOOTHACHE REVIEW

Post Malone is an artist whose career has been fun and interesting to follow. He seemingly blew up out of nowhere when his single ‘White Iverson’ went viral in 2015. He immediately seemed like someone who could have major success in the music industry. He had a voice and flow that blended Pop and Hip Hop music almost perfectly, giving him the ability to attract a wide variety of music listeners. Post Malone quickly followed up this single with a 10-song mixtape called August 26th which once again showed his huge potential. Shortly thereafter he released his debut album, Stoney. This album was positively received; listeners lauded his ability to blend and glide between genres on this record. Stoney blends R&B, Hip Hop, and Pop, with elements of outlaw country being sprinkled into some of the instrumentals as well. In 2018, Post Malone released his second album, Beerbongs and Bentleys. This record almost feels like an extension of his first. It follows the same formula and feels like a slightly more polished version of Stoney. Similar to his first record, Post was praised on this record for his ability to create and hold catchy melodies that get stuck in your head. He decided to take more risks and go a slightly different direction with his next record, 2019’s Hollywood’s Bleeding. This was his most critically praised record yet. He took a lot of risks on this record, including major elements of Rock, Country, and Soul music into his signature Trap-Pop sound. This album showed that he is willing to and able to take big creative risks. It also features the best songwriting of his career to that point. After three years, Post has finally released his next project, Twelve Carat Toothache. I am curious to see if he goes back to his roots or continues to push the envelope with this record. With that being said, here is my review of Post Malone’s Twelve Carat Toothache. Let me know in the comments how you feel about this record. And also comment what your favorite songs from it are.

The first song from this record, ‘Reputation,’ is not what most people(including me) expected to hear from Post Malone, especially as an opening track. I honestly sort of expected this album to have a light and breezy summer sound to it, and it is clear from this track that is not the case. This song has a Folk-Pop sound. The instrumental for this song is provided by piano and acoustic guitar. These instruments give us a slow, melancholy melody that immediately gives the song a somber sound. Post Malone leans into the yodeling side of his voice on this track. It honestly goes super well with the instrumental. It is clear how talented of a singer he is from listening to this track. This track sounds like a warning to a potential significant other of his. He is telling her about the shortcoming of his personality, his addictions, and his level of fame. He knows he is not the easiest person to be around, and he wants this person to know what it will be like if she commits to being with him. Next, we get ‘Cooped Up,’ which features Roddy Ricch. This was the only single released in anticipation of the new record. Even though this song isn’t bad, it did worry me a bit when I first heard it. I could tell this is a song his music label made him make. It has a very generic fast-paced Pop-Trap instrumental that is catchy but unoriginal. The melody is nice and the beat makes you want to move, but the song just feels shallow. My favorite thing about the song is probably the vocals. Post Malone sounds natural and smooth on this melody and beat, and Roddy Ricch stands out. In my opinion, Roddy’s performance is the highlight of this track; his flow and the way his voice fluctuates give the song some extra substance. ‘Cooped Up,’ is a song about partying it up and letting loose after staying secluded and being a recluse for a period of time. ‘Lemon Tree’ has already become a fan favorite from this album. It is also one of my highlights from the record. It is one of the album’s most inventive tracks. It starts with an acoustic Folk-Rock riff that highlights Post Malone’s rasping vocals super well. As the song progresses, an 808 drum eventually comes in to provide a beat, and weird sound effects start being sprinkled in that provide substance to the track. At the end of the song, there is a sort of climax, with the instrumental and vocals getting louder and more distorted; this ending adds to the emotion of the song. Post Malone again uses a yodeling technique for his vocals on this song; this way of singing goes well with the Folk-Rock nature of the instrumental. In ‘Lemon Tree,’ Post Malone is singing about his sinking mental health. As he sees everyone around him becoming happier, he can’t stop himself from always feeling down. Following this, we get the song ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger.’ Honestly, this sounds like another song with a major influence from the label. The instrumental has a very generic Pop-Rock theme to it. It is driven by a funky bass line and heavy synths which are backed by a basic drum beat. It also sounds like there is an electric guitar riff that backs the rest of the instrumentation and gives it depth. I do like Post’s vocals on this song a lot. He hits some very nice high notes throughout the track and brings out his signature raspiness that so many people love to hear. In ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger,’ Post is singing about a toxic relationship he was in where he felt controlled. He sings about resorting to alcohol and drugs to cope with how bad this person made him feel about himself. 

After the melancholy feeling, the beginning of this album has, the upbeat and sweet tone of ‘I Like You(A Happier Song)’ featuring Doja Cat is a breath of fresh air. This song has summer smash hit written all over it. The song contains a quick Pop-Trap beat and a very bright and colorful synth-heavy melody. Post kills it with his flow and vocal performance on this track. It is the kind of song he excels at and it brings out the best in him. The same can be said for Doja Cat. She is also great at making this kind of music and fits in perfectly in this song. The premise of this track is exactly what you think it is judging from the title. ‘I Like You(A Happier Song)’ is about trying to start dating your new crush. The next song, ‘I Cannot Be(A Sadder Song),’ which features Gunna, follows a similar formula sonically to the song that precedes it. It is another track with a super catchy and easy to jam out to Pop-Trap instrumental. The beat is a bit slower and the melody isn’t as colorful and vibrant, but it doesn’t have a similar feeling to I Like You(A Happier Song).’ Similar to that song, Post’s vocals and flow sound great on this track. Gunna also has a solid contribution to the song as well. His voice’s deep and low register contrasts Post’s well. Honestly, I enjoy the happier song before this more, but this one is still a solid bop. In ‘I Cannot Be(A Sadder Song,’ Post and Gunna sing about a similar thing as Post did in ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger.’ This song is about a toxic relationship where Post feels like he doesn’t have a lot of freedom. Following this, we get the song ‘Insane.’ This song almost feels like Post Malone’s best Young Thug impersonation. The song has a vibrant and large-sounding Melodic Trap instrumental that sounds a lot like the music from one of Young Thug’s many late 2010s mixtapes. The instrumental goes hard; if you love that kind of Trap music, you should love this instrumental. Post Malone’s vocal performance sounds like he is trying to be similar to Young Thug as well. Even though the performance in itself isn’t bad at all, he just sounds very unoriginal and uninspired on this track. In ‘Insane,’ Post is singing about the kind of woman he gets with now that he is rich and famous. Ironically, this next song follows ‘Insane,’ because ‘A Love/Hate Letter To Alcohol,’ which features Fleet Foxes, is one of the most original and interesting sounding songs on the record. This is a synth-heavy Alternative Pop song that stands out on this record in a big way. I love the dark and foreboding nature of the beat of this song; it makes the song stand out. With the Fleet Foxes feature, I would expect there to be more of a Folk influence in this song, but the synths that make up this melody do work well. On this track, Post sings about how damaging his addiction to alcohol can be although he uses it to forget about his other problems. It shows the good and bad things that alcohol can provide.

After how unique and interesting the last song was, I had hoped this album would continue to take a different and Alternative route with the next song. This is most definitely not the case, though, with ‘Wasting Angels,’ which features Kid Laroi. Instead, it may be the most bland-sounding song on the album. It is a slow Synth-Heavy Pop track with a joyous melody that does go with the angel theme. The vocal performances from Post Malone and The Kid Laroi are very good; I should shout that out. But the song doesn’t do much for me at all. On this track, The Kid Laroi and Post Malone talk about the things about being famous that they don’t enjoy. The next song, ‘Euthanasia,’ has a similarly slow and soft Synth-Pop sound to ‘Wasting Angels.’ I have to say I enjoy the instrumental in a similar fashion to how I enjoy the instrumental to that song(so not much at all). In my opinion, this song is pretty bland. The way the song builds up does have an emotional element, but I feel like they could have done so much more to push that emotion through. I do appreciate how you can hear the pain in Post Malone’s voice in the song; you can tell her means what he is saying. In ‘Euthanasia,’ Post Malone is speaking about wanting to die. He is saying he is in so much pain and turmoil that he can’t take it anymore. Post picks the pace back up with the next song, ‘When I’m Alone.’ After the last two songs, it was needed. In my opinion, this is another highlight from the record. That is because this instrumental stands out in a nice way. When I’m Alone’ has a sound that makes me think of some early 2010s Indie Pop and Rock music I enjoy. Specifically, it reminds me of bands like Two Door Cinema Club and The Wombats. It has a fun and vivid riff provided by electric guitars which drive the melody. Post’s vocals sound natural and clean on this melody. In ‘When I’m Alone,’ Post is apologizing for cheating on a past girlfriend. The fast and clean instrumental creates a juxtaposition with the sadder lyricism. 

We dive right back into the slow acoustic Pop sound that has been so prevalent on this album with the next song, which is called ‘Waiting For An Angel.’ This one has a similar sound and feels to songs like ‘Euthanasia’ and ‘Wasting Angels.’ This song is probably a sequel to ‘Wasting Angels’ in a way(it probably should have directly followed that song on the record, to be honest). I know I complained about those two songs being very mundane and boring, but I do enjoy this one a bit more. To me, his vocals provide a lot more passion and vulnerability on this track than on those that precede it that are similar. In ‘Waiting For An Angel,’ Post Malone is once again complaining about the fame he has accrued. He never expected to become such a popular artist, and he was not ready for the stress that comes with it. Following this, we get ‘One Right Now,’ which is a collaboration with The Weeknd that was released late in 2021. Although ‘Cooped Up’ is the single that was released with the announcement of this record earlier this year, I guess you could technically say that this track is the record’s first single. If the whole record would have sounded like this, I have to say I would have been pretty satisfied. ‘One Right Now’ is not the most original Pop track of all time, but it is very catchy and has a fun sound. It is a sweet and cool Pop song that is nice to listen to. ‘One Right Now’ has a sound that is influenced by 80s Pop music. It has a similar sound to the retro Synth-Pop and Disco sound that has swept the Pop world over the last couple of years. Artists like Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, and The Weeknd himself have thrived on this kind of music, so why shouldn’t Post Malone also be able to do this. Speaking of The Weeknd, his vocals are great on this track. He and Post sound so natural on this song together, and I would love to hear them make more music together in the future. On ‘One Right Now,’ The Weeknd and Post Malone are singing about former lovers that want them back, These people have admitted to cheating, though, and both artists are not interested in taking them back. The album ends with a piece called ‘New Recording 12, Jan 3, 2020). This is a short demo that contains Post singing some of the lyrics from ‘Euthanasia’ over an acoustic guitar. This track has such raw and emotional energy. It sounds like an underground Folk recording but some random artist in the 1960s. I wish that the actual song ‘Euthanasia’ had an instrumental and overall sound that was closer to this. How vocals sound so much more genuine in this piece, and the instrumental fits his voice so well. It’s a prime example of how good this record could have been without the forced modern Pop sounds.

Maybe I went into this record with too high of expectations. I have thoroughly enjoyed Post Malone’s music up until this point. I thought that he did a great job on his last album at exploring new sounds and styles of music while still staying true to what he is good at and making sure he puts out quality. I don’t know if it was due to major label interference or lack of inspiration, but he missed the mark with a lot of Twelve Carat Toothache. There were not a lot of Sonic risks on this record, and the risky moments that did happen didn’t always work so well. There are a lot of moments on the record where it felt like Post was trying to do what other artists are doing successfully instead of doing what he wanted to do. The last track of the album is a good example of what the album could have been if he had followed his heart and made the music he wanted to. Unfortunately, I guess we’ll have to hear that from Post Malone. Until then, there are a few songs on this record I do enjoy and will be listening to a lot in the near future.

FAVORITE TRACKS – COOPED UP(WITH RODDY RICCH), LEMON TREE, I LIKE YOU(A HAPPIER SONG)(WITH DOJA CAT), ONE RIGHT NOW(WITH THE WEEKND)

4.99/10

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