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Post Malone | Hollywood’s Bleeding | Album Review

RCA Records
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

There’s a lot of things one can say about Post Malone. One can say he’s dirty, one can say he’s got a tattoo of barbed wire on his face, and one can say that he’s a rapper. One cannot, however, say he isn’t bold. Because he is. He had the audacity to label his new album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, hip-hop/rap. That’s bold.

The elements of hip-hop and rap are definitely there, mostly in the beats and instrumentals. But the vocals and lyrics scream pop and sometimes even pop-punk or modern alternative.

It’s highly confusing on its own but looking at the block- buster list of features on the album, it’s even more jarring. Seriously, there’s a boatload of talent on this album: DaBaby, Future, Halsey (who is questionable on the talent aspect, but that’s for a different article), Meek Mill, Travis Scott, SZA, Young Thug, and… Ozzy Osbourne?

Reading the list of features is like being punched in the chest several times.

Some of the artists struggle to properly function amidst Malone’s strange and mechanical sound, but they do their very best. Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott actually sort of pull off the odd-throuple decently well, all things consid- ered. Scott has the campy autotune to match Malone, while Osbourne sounds like what Malone should sound like.

The worst of the features is Future and Halsey, who provide verses on “Die For Me,” which is basically just Halsey and G-Eazy’s “Him and I” except Future and Post Malone are there. It’s an autotuned mess that local pop radio stations will eat up.

Malone struggles to uphold a creative narrative in the genre that made his music career. He seems to want to drift into a more ballad-y pop style but is holding himself back. It’s a shame that he didn’t come on the scene when everyone was having a folky, alternative-y, white-guys-with-beards- singing-around-a-campfire phase. Malone would have excelled in that genre for sure.

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