November music review

Andrew Parrot

Hi Branson! I’m Andrew Parrot, and welcome to the monthly music review section of the Blazer! I will choose two albums each month (either by personal taste or by popular demand) and give me brief, opinionated takes on each one. If you ever want to suggest an album to appear in this segment, feel free to shoot me an email ([email protected]), as I welcome all requests. One final note before I begin; everything written here is in my opinion, and my opinion only. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of this month’s albums!

Post Malone: “Hollywood’s Bleeding”

Coming off the incredible commercial and critical reception of his 2018 sophomore album, “Beerbongs and Bentleys,” I was quite excited to see the direction in which Post Malone would go next with this project. Based on the dark and edgy cover art and album title, I was expecting a moodier, slightly more depressing look at the trappings of fame that Malone usually covers in his song. In some respects, I think we get that from “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” 

The album was promoted by four singles before the release of this album: “Wow”, “Sunflower” with Swae Lee, “Goodbyes” with Young Thug and, most recently, “Circles.” 

Although I was generally happy with this batch of tracks (especially “Goodbyes”), I didn’t really see how they would fit into a cohesive project. From the bright, summery vibe of “Sunflower” to the party banger “Wow”, the tracks had a very eclectic feel to them. While the individual tracks ranged from good to great, I didn’t feel that they complemented each other in any meaningful way, which I think carries over into the entirety of the album.

 The album starts off well enough, with the dark and atmospheric title-track, which undergoes a number of well-executed instrumental shifts and sees one of Post’s best and most catchy tunes. However, the following track, “Saint-Tropez”, seems like a generic and utterly boring Post Malone party track. The album seems to follow this trend throughout; for every worthwhile and memorable track here, there is one that underwhelms and falls into the background. 

Some of the highlights include the track “Enemies,” with its killer feature from Dababy, “On the Road” with Meek Mill and Lil Baby, and the song “Take What You Want” featuring Travis Scott and Ozzy Osbourne, which is one of the best fusions of hard-rock and rap I have heard in a while. 

Favorite Tracks: “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” “Enemies,” “A Thousand Bad Times,” “Circles,” ”On The Road,” “Take What You Want,” “Internet,” “Goodbyes,” “Wow”

Least Favorite Track: “I Know”  

Rating: 6/10

DaBaby: “KIRK”

Charlotte, N.C., rapper DaBaby has had quite the year. His breakout single “Suge,” has been certified platinum, and he was recently featured on XXL Magazine’s Freshman List, cementing his status as one of the top up-and-comers in the Southern rap scene. Now, he’s dropped a new full-length project to quickly follow up his “Baby On Baby” album from earlier this year. 

However, from the onset, this album seemed to be a different kind of record for DaBaby. Before the release of this album, he felt fit to drop the single “INTRO,” a surprisingly introspective track that touches many themes of family, also mentioning his late father, who died just this year. This interest in family and togetherness seemed to be further emphasized by the title of this album, which references DaBaby’s real name, Jonathan Kirk. 

Coming into this album, I had plenty to look forward to, which I think that the album delivered on, for the most part. Aside from a couple of duds in the tracklist, I think that this album presents quality and unique bangers in a way only DaBaby could. 

The second track, “OFF THE RIP,” features DaBaby rapping emphatically over a minimalist instrumental that complements his voice and witty one-liners perfectly. Then there are the tracks “BOP” and “VIBEZ”, which both feel like typical DaBaby songs, but refined quite a bit. The former has an intoxicating and lo-fi flute that carries the instrumental, and the latter has one of the catchiest hooks of the whole project. 

Then the project moves to the track “GOSPEL,” featuring YK Osiris, Chance the Rapper and Gucci Mane, which is one of the best examples of DaBaby experimenting with other sounds on this album. The grand pianos on the instrumental, as well as great appearances from each of the guests on the track (especially Chance the Rapper), make this a true highlight of the project. 

Unfortunately, I feel that this album really begins to fall into a lull with “iPHONE” with Nicki Minaj and “REALLY” with Stunna 4 Vegas. A combination of less interesting beats and underwhelming features make these some of the low points of the record. 

However, I feel that the album really picks back up again with the last two tracks, “THERE HE GO” and “XXL”, which serve as a final helping of the cartoonish, tongue-in-cheek rap that we’ve come to expect from DaBaby. Overall, I find this to be a satisfying listen from front to back, even with the occasional disappointing track or two.  

Favorite Tracks: “INTRO,” ”OFF THE RIP,” “BOP,” “VIBEZ,” “GOSPEL,” “TOES,” “THERE HE GO,” “XXL”

Least Favorite Track: “PROLLY HEARD”

Rating: 7/10