Post Malone bends and blends genres in “Hollywood’s Bleeding” album

by Ethan Hart and Alexis Fowler

Catchy. Boundary-pushing. Smooth. Introspective.

These are all words that describe Post Malone’s new album Hollywood’s Bleeding with stunning accuracy. Its universality and earworm lyrics make this album a solid listening choice in the car at night with the windows down, during a tough workout in the gym, or even studying and taking notes.

Hollywood’s Bleeding manages to be simple in its concept, yet diverse in its composition. It can be laid back and easy-going, but can also be intense and impassioned.

Hollywood’s Bleeding released in September, marking as Malone’s third studio album. In the 18-song project’s first week after its release, it boasted a total of 489,000 units sold. Malone also set the record for first-week track streams with 365.4 million streams across all platforms. Ever since the release of his breakthrough single “White Iverson” in 2015, he has challenged the notion of artists being bound to one genre by creating diverse albums.

Not surprisingly, Hollywood’s Bleeding debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. This album became his second #1 album at debut, following in the footsteps of 2018’s uber-successful Beerbongs and Bentleys. 

Malone also charted 4 songs in the Billboard Hot 100 with the release of Hollywood’s Bleeding, with three of the four songs being singles released before the album. “Goodbyes” featuring Young Thug charted at #3, “Circles” charted at #4, “Take What You Want” featuring Ozzy Ozbourne and Travis Scott at #8, and “Sunflower” featuring Swae Lee at #10. 

Malone does not stand alone.  He opts for guests artists on nearly every song–which makes the listener wonder what he is capable without a sidekick? Here are some highlights from the album:

“Take What You Want,” featuring Ozzy Ozbourne and Travis Scott, adds a flare of rock to Malone’s album, while still maintaining his style of pop. This song has become increasingly popular, charting in the top 10 songs of the Billboard Hot 100, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Another song on Malone’s album is “Goodbyes,” which features Jeffrey Lamar Williams, also known as Young Thug. This song has a more mellow tone that adds variety to the upbeat songs on this album. “Goodbyes” is currently the highest-charting song from the album, which is also in part due to the record’s release as a single in the week prior to the album’s release. 

Many albums have one song that falls short, especially when such high expectations are set in place. “Internet” is the one song that does not enhance the value of the album. The topic of the internet being overused mixed in with an operatic section and only one verse don’t mix together well, resulting in the song not adding any value to the project. 

“Staring At The Sun,” which features neo-soul singer Solána Imani Rowe, also known as SZA is one that includes a deep meaningful vibe but also keeps the pop and R&B tone.

“Die For Me,” which features Future and Halsey repeats the theme of practically every song Post Malone ever made. This song has the same basic pop feel to it and provides nothing new and exciting, yet again his overall theme is about some girl that broke his heart. Malone sings, “It was love at first sight, felt like you were chosen.” 

No album is perfect, and the presence of dud songs prevent Hollywood’s Bleeding from being ranked higher than a 7.5/10. “Die For Me,” even with its inclusion of superstars Future and Halsey, fails to introduce any new themes and lyrics to avid Post Malone listeners. Songs such as “Internet” and “I’m Gonna Be” are flat out boring and aren’t worth the listen.

Fortunately, the positives of the album outweigh the negatives. “Goodbyes” is a solid hit. Its relatability and hard-hitting lyrics should keep this song on the Billboard charts for a while. “Take What You Want” has one of the best music features of the year in Ozzy Ozbourne, with his captivating hook and his electrifying guitar solo outro. Malone’s ability to create diverse productions, ranging from melodic acoustics from his guitar in “Circles” to the bass-booming anthems such as “On The Road,” have accrued a wide audience and a near cult-like following.

Lancer Media rates the album at a 7.5/10. Hollywood’s Bleeding accomplishes the same goal as Malone’s first and second albums, providing listeners with a diverse soundtrack with a strong hip-hop, rock, and pop foundation. 

Lancer Media ranks Hollywood’s Bleeding as his second-best album, behind 2016’s Stoney and in front of 2018’s Beerbongs and Bentleys. For more entertainment reviews, click here!