Hollywood bleeds for Post Malone

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Hollywood bleeds for Post Malone

Post Malone creates a fresh, memorable sound in his third album,

Post Malone creates a fresh, memorable sound in his third album, "Hollywood's Bleeding."

Elena Sherwood

Post Malone creates a fresh, memorable sound in his third album, "Hollywood's Bleeding."

Elena Sherwood

Elena Sherwood

Post Malone creates a fresh, memorable sound in his third album, "Hollywood's Bleeding."

Post Malone gives us another glance into his unimaginable world of 50-meter yachts, Versace boxers and overwhelming heartbreak with the release of his third album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” He sings about unrequited love, preaches about his criticisms of the internet and boasts his extensive spending. Released Sept. 6, 2019, “Hollywood’s Bleeding” features 17 tracks, including four previously released singles and a number of featured artists such as Meek Mill, Future, SZA, Travis Scott, Ozzy Osbourne, Young Thug and Swae Lee. 

This album marks a new era in Post’s career with both its message and sound. In his previous albums, “beerbongs & bentleys” (2018) and “Stoney” (2016), he focused on his inner thoughts and struggles. We now see him become more aware of the world around him. Post has created a collection of songs the world is unlikely to forget anytime soon. 

The first track, called “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” peels back the glossy paint of pop culture and reveals a harsh reality. Post Malone, whose birth name is Austin Post, describes a world where living a lifestyle that verges on death is the norm. He sings this along to a sharp beat and eerie vocals. This sets the tone for the entire album as Post explores the “city up in smoke” outside his window.

This idea of Hollywood’s doomsday comes up in other songs, such as the syrupy sweet, nostalgic “Myself.” While the sound is uplifting, the lyrics ring with sadness. Post visits all these wonderful cities, but has never really “been” there because of his responsibilities as a celebrity. 

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He still includes many of the classic Posty messages in his songs. “Saint Tropez,” “I’m Gonna Be” and “Wow.” all tell the audience about his journey to well-earned riches with pounding bass, an arrogant tone and vibrant chord progressions. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks. 

He does switch some things up. Most songs from “Hollywood’s Bleeding” have contrasting meaning and sound, creating a unique effect for the genre. If the lyrics are dark, the melody makes your heart soar and shoulders bounce. “A Thousand Bad Times” depicts a failing relationship where Post’s partner treats him terribly, but still he keeps coming back because he enjoys the pain: “I had a thousand bad times/So what’s another time to me?” He utilizes his strong yet raspy voice to condemn his cruel partner along with a thumping beat, making me want to get up, belt out the lyrics and dance my heart out. 

Unfortunately, one album cannot accomplish everything. “Hollywood’s Bleeding” lacks the necessity of a melancholy tune that both “Stoney” and, less so, “beerbongs & bentleys” gracefully incorporate. While “Circles,” released seven days before the album’s release, gives us a song to add to our sad playlist, it still includes a lively beat and swinging chorus. The album has no song remotely comparable to Stoney’s iconic “Feeling Whitney,” whose first 10 seconds will immediately create a lump in your throat. 

A few of the featured artists have also raised eyebrows, the most obvious being Ozzy Osbourne, who accompanies Post and Travis Scott on “Take What You Want.” Osbourne begins the song with impactful vocals, but his sound doesn’t mesh well with Post’s. Later in the song, Post repeats the lyrics Osbourne starts with, but with a completely different effect: he achieves a high, clear, haunting sound that immediately gave me the chills. It is disappointing to see these magnificent bars buried in the second half of the song, while Osbourne’s overly emo lines appear immediately in the beginning. 

Even with a few minor flaws, “Hollywood’s Bleeding” successfully paints an inky black picture of fame, money and heartache (although it does have a few streaks of happy yellow: let’s not forget swingy pop pieces like “Sunflower” or “Staring At The Sun”). 

The third installment of Post Malone’s saga upholds his cynicism while swapping and switching the tone, beat and style of each song. Post manages to smear them all together to create a jack-of-all-trades, build-it-yourself masterpiece that continues to reverberate inside our eardrums even when the headphones are away, the radio is off and Hollywood is restlessly asleep.