Post Malone fails at consistency on ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’

Dom Brazeau

Hollywood’s Bleeding,” released Sept. 6, is Post Malone’s third studio album since 2018’s “Beerbongs & Bentleys” and 2016’s “Stoney.” Both of these albums dominated the charts over the past two years with tracks like “I Fall Apart,” “White Iverson,” “Rockstar” and “Better Now.” 

The singles for Malone’s albums have also dominated, with “Sunflower” going number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and “Wow” and “Better Now” peaking at number two and three, respectively. Each of these songs brought something different in style; “Wow” is more rap heavy, “Sunflower” is upbeat and “Better Now” is a vindictive break-up song. 

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Along with the singles, the features on this record were promising, with superstars like SZA, DaBaby, Travis Scott, Halsey and even Ozzy Osbourne — an interesting mix of artists that distinguish the tracks from one another.

Malone set a high bar to meet with this new album, as both the singles and features raised fans’ anticipations for “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” 

Unfortunately, the expectations for this album might have been too high. “Hollywood’s Bleeding” opens with the titular track, a darker sounding song that should set the tone for the album, given it explores some heavier subjects. However, some of the lighter tracks lack coherency within the overall sound.

With a 17-song tracklist, there was a lot that could have been left out. Songs like “Internet,” “A Thousand Bad Times” and “Saint-Tropez” are uneventful and bring the album down. 

“Hollywood’s Bleeding” can be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music

“Internet” is a short two-minute song in which Malone sings about the troubles of social media and how he is never going to use the internet again. Thematically, this song comes off as cliché and cringey.

“A Thousand Bad Times” is too homogenous with other pop songs and seems to drag on forever. 

Many of the songs on “Hollywood’s Bleeding” don’t sound like Malone’s songs and are indistinguishable from other popular artists. Malone seemingly gave up on his unique voice and instead created an album of tracks that sound like they could have been pulled from the pop charts. 

On the bright side, the good songs on the album are very good. “Take What You Want,” with Osbourne and Scott, is unique and powerful. The mix of wildly different artists that would never have come together otherwise made “Take What You Want” a dark sounding track with a driving guitar instrumental. None of the artists overstay their welcome, and the song ends with an energetic guitar solo. 

“Circles” is another good song, with Malone going for a more chill style, making this track easy to sing along to and listen to on repeat. “Staring At The Sun,” with SZA, is a song about the struggles of love. SZA and Malone sing in a duet for a lot of the song, making it very catchy.

“Enemies” is solid, with a feature from DaBaby who almost steals the show. The only problems with “Enemies” are a few awkward parts of the chorus, but other than that, it is one of the best songs. 

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While Malone has established himself as an artist with longevity and talent, “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is just an average album. There’s a few good songs, a few bad songs and a few average songs. Malone seems to struggle to decide what sound he wants and constantly shifts thematically, which makes the album inconsistent and mediocre.

Post Malone / “Hollywood’s Bleeding”

  • Score: 6.5/ 10
  • Favorite songs: “Take What You Want,” “Circles,” “Enemies” 
  • Least favorite songs: “Internet,” “A Thousand Bad Times”

 

Dominic Brazeau can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @DomBrazeau.