POST MALONE — beerbongs & bentleys

Release date: April 27, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5

Beerbongs & bentleys is Post Malone’s second 18-track album in two years, and I’m not upset about it. But — I hate to say — this album doesn’t need to be this long.

The first five tracks are all relatively similar, although “Spoil My Night” does have some lyrical gems like “I ain’t even see the face, but she got beautiful boobies” and “I think she rock with me like Jumanji.” For lack of a better term, the first five tracks are rather one note. Solid, but not exciting.

The real album starts with track six, “Rockstar,” the lead single that was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for 17 weeks. This is perhaps by design; usually lead singles open albums, so it’s possible everything before “Rockstar” is supposed to be a sort of prequel. Either way, beerbongs & bentleys would have been more impressive without the just-fine first five tracks. Post, sometimes you have to kill your darlings.

After “Rockstar,” we get to “Over Now,” probably my favorite track. On “Over Now,” Post Malone combines hip hop with a chorus that almost veers towards hard rock, and you can feel the passion behind it. He goes from demonic anger — “I’ma put that bitch pussy in a motherfucking body bag” — to complete desperation — “I was an idiot / begging on my knees onto the floor” — within a matter of a few lines. It’s incredibly realistic, and it doesn’t feel like he’s actively trying to make a point; it’s just heart.

G-Eazy, as well as YG, is featured on “Same Bitches,” and boy do I feel this song: “I been in L.A. too long / I see the same bitches everywhere I go….acting or a model, heard it all before / population four million, how I see the same bitches?” Preach, man. L.A. is the worst.

In all seriousness, “Same Bitches” not only slays with its message and featured artists, but with its sampling, too. Malone takes “what’s your name? / who’s your daddy? / is he rich like me?” from The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” (1968). I cannot think of a better sample for a song talking about how all L.A. women are the same, and this also showcases Malone’s entrenchment in music; he knows his stuff. I’m hoping this is the next single.

“Jonestown,” the interlude following “Same Bitches,” intones: “it happens every time / it sounds like suicide / I’m hesitant, but I guess I’ll drink the Kool-aid once again.” Unlike some other artists (Tinashe) — wow! — Post Malone actually understands how to use an interlude. Haunting and effective, “Jonestown” adds to the message of “Same Bitches” by showing Malone’s vulnerability under his tough aura.

If you’re still not convinced Post Malone is an artist to take seriously, take a listen to “Stay” — not, not this one. It has none of the glitz and glamour of the rest of the album; it’s just his voice and a guitar, and it’s beautiful. Once again vulnerable, Post Malone proves that he’s a multitalented artist, from hard-driving beats to beautifully understated melodies.

A true gem, Post Malone is an incredible asset to modern music as a whole, and even the first five just-okay tracks are more thought out and better written than a lot of other tracks on the market. I know at least his Seattle show is sold out, and it’s obvious why. Good going, P.

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