Focusing on an indie-guitar-oriented sound, Posty’s new self-titled project is all pop, no punch, and not in the best way.
Post Malone is a superstar who will most likely be remembered for heralding the trap-pop sound for the better part of a decade and being one of the best artists within that genre. However, his last album, Twelve Carat Toothache, saw him take a new direction with his sound. Songs like “Euthanasia” and “When I’m Alone” were melancholic in tone and featured darkly emotional lyrics about Post Malone’s own mental health and alcohol issues.
His new release “AUSTIN” (titled after his real name) attempts to follow this dark emotional theme however more subtly and through a more indie-pop sound.
The album starts with “Don’t Understand”, a tranquil introspective song that features a mellow acoustic performance from Post Malone himself. The opener is somewhat of a Trojan horse when it comes to the rest of the album, as this is the most emotive Post sound on the whole project, and it isn’t seen again except in a handful of songs.
One of those songs is the follow-up song, “Don’t Understand”. A dramatically powerful song that sees Post screaming the chorus in tune with a choir as pounding drums make it feel weightier.
The song also highlights a lot of Post Malone’s lifestyle problems, singing about how he needs cigarettes just to breathe and Whiskey just to fall asleep. My favourite line on the song, and maybe the album is, “I got everything, guess I’m hard to please”, highlighting the slippery slope of being a superstar at the peak of the public eye.
After these two songs, however, Post ventures into his more typical pop sound, which completely throws the tone of the album off balance. “Chemical”, “Novacandy”, “Mourning” and “Too Cool to Die” all feel like the same song and sound like equally forced attempts at making a radio hit.
Out of all of these very “industry-sounding” pop tracks, “Too Cool to Die” has the best beat and the best chorus, it has a slow 80’s pop ballad feel that suits the original tone of the album better than the other three.
However, after it feels like Post is back on track with following something deeper and emotionally driven, we get “Sign Me Up” and another flurry of uninteresting pop songs that probably could’ve been written by ChatGPT if you gave it the opportunity.
One of the album’s last songs, “Green Thumb”, feels more aligned with what the album could’ve been if chasing chart success didn’t get in the way.
“Green Thumb” features one of Post’s most creative songwriting ideas where he sings from the perspective of talking to his ex-girlfriend’s dying plant, a concept that may seem strange on paper, yet works brilliantly in song and makes for one of Post’s best love ballads.
Not having songs that were more like “Green Thumb” and “Don’t Understand” feels like a greatly missed opportunity to make this album feel more like a journey into Posty’s character rather than a surface-level, commercial version of it.
Score/Mediocre: Not awful, not amazing, simply ok. However, I can’t help but think this album could be much more, deeper, and more interesting songs are slogged down by an onslaught of unnecessary pop songs that honestly feel like they have no real emotion.
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