Opening the album with title track “Hollywood’s Bleeding”, Post Malone jumps feet first into his third studio album. Dark, lilting vocals show the angst of calling Hollywood home, “We’re running out of reasons, but we can’t let go.” His hazy words melt songs together, moving from one song into the next, featuring a multitude of artists from Future and Halsey to Ozzy Ozbourne and Travis Scott. Like the blur of his vocals, Malone advances through different musical productions; the dark tones of “Hollywood’s Bleeding” give way to the hip hop of “Enemies” onto the bubblegum pop vibe of “Allergic”. Mixing in the Black Sabbath guitar riffs of Ozzy Ozzbourne and Travis Scott’s rap is definitely not the typical mash up, but almost seems to work in a strange crossover song style that has become popular recently.
Four singles were included on the album including “Wow.” and “Circles”. Among the four, “Sunflower”, in particular, reached notoriety with its inclusion in the computer-animated movie about superhero Miles Morales — “Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse.” Collaborating with Swae Lee, the song is an upbeat ode to an emotional roller coaster. While dancy and enjoyable to listen to, the lyrics don’t always make the most sense.
“Goodbyes” was the last single released in July. It was first introduced to me through its R rated music video, which features a greaser dressed Post Malone getting stabbed in a meaningless fight. The video was visually interesting, creepy, and dark, fitting with the theme of the lyrics in the album. Listening to the song once again was definitely a different experience, filled with much less emotion without the additional narrative provided in the video.
This album was an interesting introduction to Post Malone’s music for me. For his third album, it felt like an experiment in musical themes and a chance to collaborate with a diverse range of talent, while having an overall dark tone in his lyrics that remained second string to the instrumentals and production of his songs.