Post Malone repeats musical formula in second studio album “Beerbongs & Bentleys”

Maxim Kawashima

Post Malone released his second studio album, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” on April 27. Already, the album has broken the most amount of streams on Spotify with 411 first-week streams and 78 million first-day streams.

The songs’ sluggish rap style to follow along the lines of previous works such as “I Fall Apart” and “White Iverson.” The new album is composed of a total of 16 songs, although two previously-released songs, “Rockstar (feat. 21 Savage)” and “Candy Paint” make an appearance as well.

Malone’s album features Swae Lee, Ty Dolla $ign, 21 Savage, YG, G-Eazy and Nicki Minaj. Having these  artists added into the album, allows for more diversity and keeps the album interesting. In addition, it attracts listeners who are fans of the guest singers.

The album seemingly has a theme of depression through the recurrence of the motifs of relationships, drug abuse and Malone’s mental state. The tone can be literally summed up by the lyrics within each song, with lines from “Rich and Sad” such as, “All this stuntin’ couldn’t satisfy my soul/Got a hundred big faces, but I’m still alone.”

In comparison to other current mainstream rappers who are using “mumble rap” to rap about the highs of their life, Malone takes on the lows of fame. “Mumble rap” is a unofficial term for most of the popular rap today where songs from different artists can sound similar, hard to hear the lyrics, bizarre lyrics, and typically hype music. Some of rap is rapping about their accomplishments, but this album heads in the opposite direction. “Paranoid” and “Psycho (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)” encompass the impact that fame has on his mental state. On “Paranoid,” Malone says, “A paranoid man makes paranoid plans/I’ll do what I can but it’s out of my hands/Strugglin’ just to find my peace.”

In contrast to the more melancholic songs, Malone includes  “Takin’ Shots,” “Same B***hes (feat. G-Eazy & YG),” and “Sugar Wraith” which act as the “hype” part of the album. They attempt this with a faster beat and pace than the other songs. A unique song compared to the others would be “Stay.” This song still encompasses the theme of despair through the prelude to the chorus of, “Don’t break your back for me/I’ll put you out of your misery/Tell me that it’s ok.” What’s special to this song’s beat is the usage of guitar compared to synthetic beats. The guitar adds a natural flow to accompany the woeful lyrics. The songwriting is also meant for more singing than rapping, so the guitar combined with singing gives a more natural vibe to the song.

The best part of the album is in the foundation of the songs with the background beats. Each of the songs possess two-beat alternations with a synthetic and natural beat. For instance,  “Candy Paint” uses an alternating synthetic beat and a piano melody. The beats are the hook for songs as the lyrics somewhat follow the same rubric. They aren’t blaring and do not interfere with hearing the lyrics or sound too soft but they add a nice backdrop to the dreary tone. The overall beat usage is used quite effectively with each song.

As current popular hype “mumble rap” albums go, this is not that type of album. The beat is fast-paced but the theme of the lyrics can be a little off-putting due to how depressing they are. Any previous notions about Post Malone’s music will probably remain the same; this album is not anything groundbreaking or different from his previous works. The songs in this album are, if anything, are chill songs to sit down and plug in some headphones to while doing some homework. With bleak lyrics and rhythmic beats this album will be a hate it or love it choice.