It looks as if an eternity in the past that derpy, 19-year-old Grapevine native Austin Put up threw open the SoundCloud floodgates with “White Iverson” and thrust us into our present pop zeitgeist.
Since then, there’s seldom been a mainstream radio hour, social gathering or Spotify playlist sans certainly one of his songs. Now 24 and on his third full-length album, Put up Malone seems to have hit that candy spot in his profession the place he feels the liberty to take some inventive dangers. And I believe he’s bringing rock ‘n’ roll again.
Hear me out.
I’m not an enormous Posty fan, although I’ll admit I’ve danced to his songs quite a lot of occasions. He doesn’t break my prime 10 artists, and as a rule, I believe his songs are common, outdated pop bullshit. That mentioned, he’s essentially the most rock ‘n’ roll pop star this technology has.
Earlier than he rose to fame, younger Austin was protecting Bob Dylan and taking part in folks music extra ceaselessly than he did hip-hop. Put up rise to fame, he’s develop into one thing of a Dylan in a sea of Camila Cabellos and Charlie Puths.
He’s an everyman: just a little bit ugly, just a little bit chunky, and a lot-a-bit awkward. He’s the alternative of an Ariana Grande or a Beyoncé, and I believe that’s why we love him. He’s not the kind of artist who wows you with vocal prowess, however rattling it if he isn’t a grasp of constructing you sing alongside.
Whether or not it’s deliberate, that little quaver in his voice that peeks out over the Auto-Tune makes individuals who can’t sing really feel like they can also sing with him. Type of like Dylan’s sincere drawl does. Put up talks about having cash and fame, like Judas Priest, solely to show round and channel Bruce Springsteen, to say that regardless of all of it he’s nonetheless a depressed twentysomething with woman issues.
Malone introduced Willie Nelson braids again, appears to be like extra grunge than the entire of Seattle, received teenagers to begin singing Nirvana songs once more and is steeped on this entire 1980s Dungeons & Dragons art work revival that is placing O.G. energy steel bands’ album art work again in vogue.
I imply, simply take a look at the art work for his single “Wow.” It’s a drawing of an ice-white dragon winging its method by a maze of lightning and appears like the quilt of a ’80s high-fantasy novel that you simply’d pluck from a 50-cent basket on the thrift retailer flooring.
The Hollywood’s Bleeding art work takes the 1980s theme to an entire new degree, with Put up channeling his internal Ghost Rider beneath a stone arch full with a skeleton and a few medieval-looking swords adorning the margins.
Most of it’s forgettable and does little to evoke the influences teased in its cowl, however there are some gems interspersed all through, not the least of which is Put up’s collaboration with the outdated bat himself, Ozzy Osbourne (sure, you learn that proper). Enjoyable reality: The album art work for Hollywood’s Bleeding is reallllllly just like Ozzy’s Blizzard of Ounces. Coincidence? I believe not.
“Take What You Need” is a tragic tune of betrayal that begins with Ozzy crooning over a guitar-driven intro ripped straight out of Bon Jovi’s “Lifeless or Alive.” In line with him, it’s essentially the most enjoyable he’s had making music since Black Sabbath. Rattling.
The person who in all probability did extra to outline heavy steel than every other gave this tune his blessing. Take into consideration that.
Osbourne’s approval is well-deserved. The intro is basic Ozzy by and thru, and the solo that rips by the outro is certainly a Sabbath-worthy shredder if I ever heard one, and the craziest factor is that it matches the tune. Not one of the heavy steel components really feel misplaced or tacked on within the midst of an unabashedly poppy soundscape.
And that’s when it hit me: “Holy shit. Rock ‘n’ roll’s not lifeless. It’s simply … completely different.” Style strains are bending so onerous lately they may as nicely be an enormous circle. Put up has mentioned as a lot.
“All the things in music is shifting,” he instructed Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “You take a look at all of the genre-bending and the whole lot now that’s similar to, ‘this factor and this factor and you understand what? Fuck it; I like this so let’s put that in too,’ and the whole lot comes collectively and it’s simply shmusic.”
And you understand what? He’s lifeless on. That is how Gen-Z needs to rock: In tiny bursts of headbanging ecstasy. And if it opens the door for some extra good, old style rock ‘n’ roll to interrupt up the monotony of pop’s excellent plastic sheen, then I say “roll tide.”
I’m simply comfortable to see rock make a comeback, even whether it is only for a small fraction of the seconds in a handful of songs. Put up Malone and some others within the mainstream pop machine are slowly reintroducing distorted guitars into the wild. And so far as I can inform, it’s working.
Yesterday, I used to be scrolling by Instagram and got here throughout a tongue-in-cheek assortment of posts the place children had been saying that Put up Malone simply put “whoever this Ozzy man is on the map” and that they cherished Put up for “shining a light-weight on undiscovered artists.”
As humorous and completely ridiculous as that’s, I believe Put up’s rock ‘n’ roll advocacy on and off stage is a breath of contemporary air, and I can’t wait to see what the whippersnappers listening to him give you subsequent. Horns up and rock on, little ones.