Post Malone is an artist notorious for blending genres — specifically rap, pop, trap and rock. It seems Post Malone has gained more and more talent with each album he has released, which began in 2016 with Stoney and his 2018 masterpiece, beerbongs & bentleys.
His most recent album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, takes a break from Post Malone’s upward climb and instead leans into the mainstream, repetitive sound that not even his appreciable lineup of guests can make up for.
It’s not that Hollywood’s Bleeding is bad, by any means — it’s still a lot better than most rap music out today, and it has some noteworthy songs. It’s just an unfortunate plateau for an artist with such introspection and talent.
What’s interesting about the album is that Post Malone leans into a different style on some of his tracks. “Allergic” and “Myself” both have a considerable soft-pop feeling. Though he has used elements of pop in his music before, these two tracks don’t integrate and blend with other genres like his past songs usually do.
The best part of the album is by far the guest artists. The album features some newer artists and also prominent ones, including DaBaby, Future, Halsey, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott, SZA and Swae Lee. Each of the guests bring something wonderful to the album and it’s exciting to hear unique combinations like Future and Halsey (“Die For Me”), and Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott (“Take What You Want”).
Post Malone has a very specific voice, and though he raps in most of his songs, his singing can often go underrated. With his latest album, he is able to sing more than ever before and it’s a beautiful and unique sound to listen to.
In addition to his unique vocals, Post Malone has a very introspective and honest tone about his songs that still manages to be extremely catchy and popular. Of course he raps about some of the stereotypical rap topics like money, women and sex, but he does a great job at incorporating a lot of heavy thoughts and topics into his music. Hollywood’s Bleeding is no stranger to Post Malone’s emotional honesty, and each song crawls with his inner musings about the music industry, love and life.
Previously released singles “Wow” and “Sunflower (feat. Swae Lee)” are both big hits on the charts and radio, but there are plenty of other notable hits on the album. “Enemies (feat. DaBaby)” does a great job at creating a loveable earworm, “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is the perfect example of Post Malone’s inner thoughts, especially about the music industry, and “Take What You Want (feat. Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott) beautifully combines rock and trap to create arguably the best track on the entire album.
The fact of the matter is, Hollywood’s Bleeding isn’t as great as beerbongs & bentleys. More than anything, beerbongs & bentleys did a great job of furthering Post Malone’s stinging vulnerability through his music, while creating memorable tracks that people loved.
Hollywood’s Bleeding doesn’t do justice to what Post Malone can do as an artist, but it does have surprising deviations from his typical sound and more of a focus on instrumentation that his other two albums lack. It’s a great album, but it simply lacks the edge that Post usually brings to the table.