Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Post Malone "Stoney" (2016)

I've only heard of Post Malone thanks to his friendship with the H3H3 duo, somehow missing the massive White Iverson single which has blown up to almost half a billion youtube views. That song alone encapsulates the records atmosphere which is obviously appealing for its mellow, relaxing and chilled out vibes. By using a lot of Hip Hop tropes and simple, stylistic oriented lyrics Malone hasn't been praised by the critical media however his massive success is testament to something unique he possesses that isn't heard elsewhere. Its not to say there is genius at work but clearly there are signs.

Two factors make their mark on this record, firstly Malone's laid back vocals swing between easy paced, straightforward yet slang soaked raps and tuneful R&B singing. Relying heavily on autotune inflections and double tracking, his voice finds a warm, inviting, painless place to operate from that's at many times rather spell binding in his ability to create an unwinding atmosphere to indulge in. Verses flow sweetly as words are stretched to the rhythm, often lyrically lack luster, simple rhymes for instinctive thoughts that occasional spark with a couple of cracking hooks like the chorus on "Congratulations", nothing you'll forget soon but that's no the fate of ninety percent of these words.

The second factor is production, mostly following the tropes of this Trap influenced era of Hip Hop, fast shuffling hi-hats and spacious kicks often dominate the percussive dimension and on some tracks they dive deeper into the disposable with "skrt skrt" shouts and jives. Its not particularly charming but its always smothered by the wash of dreamy synths and the melding of airy reverbs and sweep phasers coming from all angles to form a soft and serine setting that's mostly very persuasive. Its best moments come when the trendy beats are stripped back and other influences take form.

Songs like Go Flex with its acoustic guitar, soft strings, kick clap percussive and Up There with warm pianos and electric guitar licks, stand out as the deeper cuts. With elevated instrumentation not relying on trendy beats shows Malone's voice is a wonderful fit for something more ambitious. I can't rave about this record, it may be sweet, mellow and relaxing as it gets but a large portion of the lyrics are lacking and the instrumental qualities varies a lot. It does however have those moments that give a real sense of promise for Malone considering he wants to pursue his Pop and Country roots over this Hip Hop oriented sound.

Favorite Tracks: I Fall Apart, Go Flex, Congratulations, Up There
Rating: 5/10