Few artists attain the consistent success Post Malone has been able to sustain since his debut in 2015. He is on the radio, he is in blockbusters like “Spiderman,” and he blares through the speakers at every frat party in the U.S. Despite all this exposure, Malone’s songs rarely feel overplayed.
His newest musical effort, “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is no exception to this success. The album, which came out on Sept. 6, debuted at number one on Billboard’s charts, and so far has five songs that peaked in the top 5.
“Hollywood” is Malone’s third studio album. Though the tracklist is a lengthy 17 songs long, the songs are short, and the full listen time comes in at just under an hour. The album flows well during a listen through. It continues his signature style of blending genres and shows off his artistic and vocal range. Songs like “Saint-Tropez” and “Enemies” blend rap and emotional singer/songwriter vibes; others like “Allergic” and “A Thousand Bad Times” are certainly pop “bops;” later in the tracklist he turns into an alternative rock frontman in “Myself.”
Like any traditional rap album, the tracks of “Hollywood” feature a myriad of other artists. Post Malone brings on expected collaborators, but then mixes it up with a surprising but incredible feature by Ozzy Osbourne on “Take What You Want.” The song is one of the most memorable Post Malone has come out with to date; its mix of Osbourne’s classic rock, Travis Scott’s modern rap and Malone’s melancholic vocals is perfectly balanced.
That is not to say Malone’s other guests are not notable. In another unexpected feature, SZA joins Malone and brings an ethereal touch to “Staring at the Sun.” In a dual collaboration, Future and Halsey come in on “Die for Me,” and give song-saving performances in a classically brooding Post Malone song. When up-and-coming artist DaBaby gets his turn on “Enemies,” he does not waste a second of it and delivers a great verse. It is not just the vocal contributions that spice this album up, there are some surprising writing credits: Kanye co-wrote “Internet’” and Father John Misty co-wrote “Myself.”
That being said, Post Malone does just fine on his own. Most of the songs are solo endeavors, which highlights his artistic range and his ability to go from crooning to rapping in the same track. Few artists can pull this off, and this continues to be a hallmark of Malone’s success.
When giving the album a listen, do not expect anything thematically new from Malone. Most of the tracks are melancholic and are about fake friends, a lonely city or girls who never appreciated him enough, gave him enough attention or do not love him enough anymore. Still, while his lyrics and ideas might not always be the most creative, his delivery always saves the day. “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is just another Post Malone album. While it is definitely not anything new or revolutionary, it is catchy, it is listenable and it is a generally solid album.