Perhaps no other artist in recent times has blended musical genres like Post Malone has. Weaving hip-hop, trap, pop, rock, and metal together, Malone’s ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ is a magnum opus of its own, incorporating almost every genre into one album.
‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ follows his sophomore album and his debut album, whose promotional single, ‘Congratulations,’ recently received a diamond certification.
The star-studded album is filled with numerous features, featuring rap stars including the likes Meek Mill, Young Thug, Lil Baby, and many more. With the addition of pop stars like Halsey and Sza, and even the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne, the album manages to engage every single feature. While Meek Mill raps about overcoming adversity and Lil Baby raps about his success and ice in On the Road, Sza sings about being let down and Halsey throws subtle shots at G-Eazy. In ‘Take What You Want,’ Ozzy Osbourne enters with a guttural, undimmed voice which is echoed by Malone on a later chorus. The incredible features woven into the album bring out Post Malone’s best aspects while adding the talents of others.
The album carries a dark, melancholic undertone to it, and the lyrics elucidate sad and dark emotions. This constitutes one of the best aspects of the album: the melodramatic vibe Post Malone is known for, and what his second album did well. On Saint-Tropez, Malone sings, “50 carats on my fist,” and “I money ball like Bradley Pitt,” but his material wealth does not seem to bring him any happiness. On the title track, ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding,’ Malone raps about his inner demons and the toxicity of his celebrity lifestyle. While on “Goodbyes,” Post sings, “I want you out of my head.” and describes a relationship he seeks to end. The formula works. The songs generally give a pleasant, yet a dark and melodramatic vibe to them. Georgiana Misthos, ’20, said, “The album gave me somewhat of a chill, relaxed but also melancholy vibe that is rather difficult to accurately describe.”
“The album gave me somewhat of a chill, relaxed but also melancholy vibe that is rather difficult to accurately describe,” said Georgiana Misthos ’21.
However, the same melodramatic vibe that characterizes the album also bogs you down with repetition, and by the time you get toward the end of the album, it’s easy to lose interest. Although fresh moments like ‘On the Road,’ ‘Wow,’ or ‘Take What You Want’ serve to break the repetition, majority of the songs are melancholic tracks in which Post Malone sings about heartbreak and gives off identical vibes through similar beat patterns. None of the songs standalone are boring, but having a whole album of them “was somewhat repetitive,” said Victoria Diaz, ’21. “I definitely feel he played it safe.”
Many wondered how the album would stack up to Malone’s two previously released albums. Some mused over the worry that ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ would not live up to the other albums. Critically, both the albums were stated to be only mediocre or even lugubrious, but fan reception was extremely positive and made Post Malone a superstar. While his first album consisted of airy, drawn-out songs, the second album incorporated more hip-hop and was definitely far darker. ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ combines the best of both worlds, and avoids the repetition of the previous. It lives up to previous releases and more. It’s fresh and serves as a new chapter in Malone’s career. Georgiana Misthos, ’21 said, “I think this album was a nice transition from these two previous albums. You can see somewhat of a commonality within his content that makes his music flow well together without sounding repetitive or boring.”
Prior to the release of the album, Post tweeted that his album would be ‘experimental’ compared to his past ones. The album certainly fits this description. ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ deviates from Malone’s previous styles and albums, and offers a completely new sound. Grueber ’21 said, “I think it was as he crossed over with ‘Take What You Want,’ arguably the best song on the album, is the pinnacle of the “experimental style.’” It crosses over four distinct genres and features two artists that no one could have ever expected to be on the same song. Ayanava Ganguly, ’21 said, “I actually thought it was quite a good crossover, bringing in the classic 80s rock sound with Osbourne on the chorus and the ending guitar solo.
‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ doesn’t always win. There are a dozen sad boi hour songs on the album and you could probably picture Post Malone saying to himself, “Sure, you can copy, just change it up a bit.” ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ is Post Malone trying on different outfits before a fashion show – not everything works. But Post Malone’s music is art. Any material suffices. And as long as Post Malone can keep printing out top ten hits, there’s no need to escape.