Hollywood’s Bleeding is the third full-length album from  Post Malone and arguably his most respectable one to date as far as  themes and motives go. While keeping his familiar trap vibes prevalent,  Malone also tries new sounds and even genres on for size in a select few  songs, which ends up working out really well for him. The album is an  insightful master work that’s all about taking risks—both on a surface  and introspective level. In it, Malone opens up and shows off more than  we’re used to, and in most ways, it deems itself outstanding, but not in  all respects.

Mastered sounds that don’t always catch fire

No one has ever necessarily known Post Malone to be the artist whose  music is cutting-edge to the trap or rap industry; in fact, he’s more or  less been known to blur the lines between genres throughout all of his  albums thus far. One of the things that makes Hollywood’s Bleeding  a work worthy of pinpointing in Malone’s career is its deeper dive into  this concept of genre-blending. Even though we all know we can’t  necessarily label Malone or stick him in a direct section of the music  scene, he does still have some trademark sounds and styles that lets him  put his own twist on what he’s creating. He makes great music, and that  fact is remembered as Malone seems to go further out of his comfort  zone with many of the songs on Hollywood’s Bleeding.

Although we can’t put a definitive label on Malone’s music, he does  usually sway towards a certain adaptation of trap, obviously. But, with  some of the tracks on Hollywood’s Bleeding, he almost  completely abandons that tendency and teeters more towards hip-hop and  indie-rock, like in “Circles”, “Allergic”, “Myself” and others. These  select tracks are more than refreshing, because it’s evident that Malone  is expressively confident in his ability to take hold of and manifest  other genres while still staying on-brand. They’re also straight-up ear  candy and the only flaw within them is that the duration isn’t long  enough. Looking at the album as a whole, it’s great that songs like  these were sprinkled in, but a larger dose really wouldn’t have been so  bad.

The songs that feature Malone’s creative extension seem to be the  best on the album in a few ways; they contain the most hooks, the best  beats and oftentimes the best lyrics. About half of the remaining tracks  can be thrown into the “monotonous trap” pile. When listening to the  album as a whole, I noticed myself mentally clocking out and passively  listening to the tracks “Die For Me”, “On The Road” and “Goodbyes”, and  the only redemptive quality seems to be the fact that they have featured  artists. These songs in particular were just missing that extra  “something” that we look for in Malone’s music. Even so, I cannot  discredit the meaning behind these songs, but the song structure,  mediocre balladry and lack of good hooks left me with a weird feeling of  dissatisfaction even after multiple listens.

Along with the new stuff, Hollywood’s Bleeding also throws  us some of those branded trap beats, like in “Wow.” and “Saint Tropez”,  which prove that not all the trap songs on the album are monotonous and  do, in fact, slap.

Good lyrics that can be few and far between

Post Malone is no stranger to vulnerability. After all, “I Fall Apart” is still one of his most popular songs to date. Although Hollywood’s Bleeding  isn’t necessarily a collective work revolving around a singular thesis,  it does have a thematic drive behind it. You’ll find that in most of  the 18 tracks on this album, Post interjects more raw emotion than we’re  used to on topics of being wronged in friendships, romantic  relationships, and even plagued by the place he once lived; L.A. This  type of lament is found more blatantly in his lyrics and vocals rather  than the music, like in the song “A Thousand Bad Times.” That song in  particular isn’t even all that sad on the first listen, but if you pay  more attention to the emotions being conveyed in his voice, it’s more  evident that it’s a pretty personal piece of composition. In fact, most  of the lighter, upbeat tracks are actually the darkest in their lyrical  and vocal respects.

However, in this case darker isn’t synonymous with heavier. While  most of the music is fresh, a good amount of the lyrics struggle to live  up to many people’s poetic standards. The lyrics in most of the songs  can be considered as a shallow delivery of these impressionable topics. A  great example of this is the song “Enemies”, featuring DaBaby. The  motives for the song, as stated by Malone in an interview with Spotify,  are the collective reflection of DaBaby and Malone, who together realize  that most friends can be fake. This is a great topic of conversation  because I’m sure we’ve all been there once or twice, but the lyrics are,  as some would say, a bit lacking. They aren’t too deep, but they get  the message across. This trait can also be found in a lot of the other  more introspective songs. I don’t want to say that this was necessarily a  bad thing or impacts the overall quality of the album in a super  horrible way, but it gave me that weird feeling of dissatisfaction and  emptiness again. Malone isn’t solely infamous for his delivery of poetic  justice, but some of the greater songs on the album really do pack more  of an emotional punch and that’s owed to the lyrics. There are plenty  of other songs that give some clever lyrical wit, and again, this is  usually found in more of the upbeat songs rather than the ones that just  sound sad. My favorite example is “Allergic”, which is poppy, light and  also features one of my favorite bars on the album: “I took your drugs  and pills just to feel something else//’Cause I can’t feel you no more.”   

Featured artists add a little sugar and spice

Another offbeat trait this album has is the astounding number and  pleasantly weird range of featured artist, from Halsey to Travis Scott  to Ozzy Osbourne. A lot of variety was added to this album, and to my  knowledge, no one is complaining about this. It makes the album all the  more tasteful. It helps weave different styles into this blanket album  that covers a good number of genres.  

Hollywood’s Bleeding is true to Post Malone’s persona and  further reveals his talent and vision. Although lacking in some lyrical  respects, the album has more than a few redemptive qualities and fresh  sounds that everyone should listen to. This album will long continue to  be prominent in his career and will continue to be played on repeat.

Top Tracks:

Circles

Saint-Tropez

Goodbyes

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Yung Pinch

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Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons

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