Table of Contents
- Genre: Pop
- Date: 28 Jul, 2023
- Content: explicit
- Track(s): 17
- ℗ 2023 Mercury Records/Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
Did you know that Post Malone has been talking about making a guitar-focused album for a while now? In his early career days, he wasn’t completely sold on the melancholic hip-hop style that made him famous. He even has a Bob Dylan tattoo on his arm, and his Nirvana cover set was so impressive that Dave Grohl approved it. Post Malone has blended various genres throughout his four successful albums, from mumble-rap to groan-rock, pickup-country to minivan funk. He’s worked with famous musicians like Ozzy Ozbourne, Fleet Foxes, and Father John Misty, and his unique sound has earned him 10 Grammy nominations and sold millions of albums.
His latest album, “Austin,” is his fifth studio album, released on 28 Jul 2023 through Mercury Records and Republic Records. Post Malone produced the album, along with Andrew Watt and Louis Bell, and worked with Max Martin and Rami Yacoub on two tracks. The album features three pre-released singles: “Chemical,” “Mourning,” and “Overdrive,” and it’s his first project that doesn’t include any guest appearances.
There was a lot of anticipation surrounding Post Malone’s new album ‘AUSTIN’. Rumours were swirling that he would drastically change his sound and venture into country music. However, the album doesn’t fully meet those expectations; maybe he hasn’t decided yet. While acoustic elements remain, it still ties to his previous rap hits. Nevertheless, ‘AUSTIN’ does showcase a more personal side of Post Malone and isn’t afraid to be honest.
The Album Art has the tattooed and bare-chested Superstar pictured in a serene environment, seated by the side of a pool, with legs in the water, in what looks like his house, as he showcases how far he has come(evidenced by the wealth on display), and how much he is willing to go further.
Tracks And Features
The album starts with the song “Don’t Understand”, which immediately sets a melancholy tone. The singer’s voice is soft and delicate, and the music complements it nicely. This song is emotionally powerful, with elongated chords that provide a foundation for the singer’s heart-wrenching vocals. Throughout the album, the singer’s voice fluctuates between powerful and gentle, conveying a sense of uncertainty and inner turmoil. His voice is raw and vulnerable in this song, similar to a wounded animal that could still lash out.
In the track “Something Real,” Post Malone is accompanied by comforting, familiar voices full of gospel. However, the album’s previous themes are still present. “Novacandy” has a more digital sound, while “Mourning” brings a sense of darkness to the album. The catchy hook in “Enough Is Enough” has a Toto-like quality, and “Novacandy” showcases charismatic self-destruction with some of the record’s bleakest lines. While Malone remains an unashamed lyricist, the album’s focus on alcohol and its aftermath inspires dark humour similar to that found in church crypts.
Although Post Malone’s album Austin showcases his guitar skills, it’s not primarily a rock record. The guitar is used as a decorative element in a series of clear pop tracks that often pay homage to the sounds of the 80s, such as Tears for Fears or music from 1989, rather than the groan-rock that Post is known for. For instance, songs like “Too Cool To Die” and ” Chemical ” ‘s first single have a breezy feel, with palm-muted guitars and harmonious backing vocals urging Post towards the horizon. The arrangements of many of the songs, such as the reflective piano accompaniment of “Socialite” or the slow-dance breakdown of “Overdrive”, take inspiration from contemporary Nashville hitmaking, where feature-length melodrama is packed into three minutes or less of emotional appeal.
There is a lot of content to showcase. The themes of “Mourning” and “Too Cool To Die” are intertwined. The lyrics in “Mourning” constantly change while incorporating digital elements and an 80s sound. It is an enjoyable experience, like a transplant of 80s Miami into the cityscape of Salt Lake City. Although, some of the songs are better than others. “Mourning” centres around a drunk throwing his bottle at the sky because he is angry at God for letting morning come. Most tracks feature Post in a troubled state, singing happily as he finishes his bottle. The songs are clever but somewhat lighter than Post intended.
The album is at its best when Post Malone displays his emotions. ‘Hold My Breath’ is a particularly raw and honest track, while ‘Texas Tea’ delivers a powerful punch with intense electronic beats. Although the album doesn’t fully live up to the hype of Post Malone exploring country music, some later songs like ‘Buyer Beware’ and ‘Landmine’ still show some influence from the genre.
The album’s final song, “Laugh It Off,” has a frosty tone and raises questions about how his experiences will influence Post Malone’s future music. The song’s lyrics express triumphant defiance towards these events, and it ends with a crescendo of post-rock guitars and digitized drums while Post Malone’s vocals soar above the noise.
Will this be a one-time change or a permanent shift in his musical style? Only time will tell. However, it is clear that this album is a brave departure from current trends and has the potential to evoke strong emotions in listeners.
|6||Too Cool To Die||3:24|
|7||Sign Me Up||3:18|
|11||Hold My Breath||3:28|
|12||Enough Is Enough||2:45|
|17||Laugh It Off||4:06|
Austin, Post Malone’s fifth LP, features guitars on every track and takes its name from his birth certificate. The album promises a raw and vulnerable release inspired by the honesty of the rock music he admires. The first track delivers on this promise, with plainspoken lyrics provided with emotional conviction.
The record’s immense self-loathing carries throughout, and despite the occasional upbeat tone, there is no clear resolution. By the end, the person who many of the songs were directed towards has left, unwilling or unable, to continue being Post’s saviour and redemption. While it’s satisfying to hear Post match the intensity of his first song, it isn’t easy to believe in his catharsis. Despite the album’s self-titled name, there is little self-examination, and any moments of clarity are buried under layers of cheap thrills and superficiality.
Post Malone - Don't Understand (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Something Real (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Chemical (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Novacandy (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Too Cool To Die (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Sign Me Up (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Socialite (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Speedometer (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Hold My Breath (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Enough Is Enough (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Texas Tea (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Buyer Beware (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Landmine (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Green Thumb (Official Lyric Video)
Post Malone - Laugh It Off (Official Lyric Video)