Post Malone Shows Potential and Flaws on ‘Stoney’
While 21-year old rapper-singer Post Malone shows potential on his debut album ‘Stoney’, he has plenty of room to improve in the future.
Each and every year, there is are a couple of new rappers who seems to have the potential to break through. Among those in 2016 is 21-year old rapper-singer, Post Malone. Malone introduced himself to the world with “White Iverson” in 2015, showing his potential. The record, reprised here on his debut Stoney showed that there was something there. The same can be said of Stoney, a flawed debut with its moments.
“Broken Whiskey Glass”
Stoney opens mysteriously with “Broken Whiskey Glass.” Here, Malone’s voice is drenched in reverb. The record does have the intended effect – the MC sounds wasted. While it’s ear-catching, it’s also bizarre. As the track progresses, he embraces pop-rap as opposed to singing, with the lyrics becoming more rhythmically complex.
“Big Lie” is somewhat nebulous. The main issue is that it sounds too faded for its own good. There’s a lack of development, hence it feels disorganized. Following the off-putting nature of the opener – at least initially – having another song lacking a firm foundation is a rub. Having the star power of Justin Bieber on “Déjà vu” is a lift…sort of. “Déjà vu” isn’t a masterwork, but contextually it is well-rounded and enjoyable. Here, the chill, laid-back sound works.
“No Option” stands out. Once again, the record is slickly produced, enjoyably trailing “Déjà vu.” Vocally, Malone sounds on-point, particularly the catchy hook and variable bridge. “Cold,” likewise, benefits from its production, but isn’t particularly distinct from other records in the same vein. It highlights the constant problem with Stoney – undercooked material.
Breakthrough hit “White Iverson” redirects lost momentum. There is one consideration though – the listener has to be a fan of the record to begin with. The lyrics are ridiculous, but basketball enthusiasts should appreciate the references to the sport minimally. The hook is a selling point for sure:
“Saucin’, saucin’, I’m saucin’ on you / I’m swaggin’, I’m swaggin’, I’m swaggin’ oh ooh / I’m ballin’, I’m ballin’, Iverson on you…”
After ballin’ hard, Post Malone is despondent on “I Fall Apart.” He tackles the ever-popular broken relationship, painting the male as the victim. His emotions are appreciated here, but it’s not quite a “W.” Highlight “Patient” is more confident, drenched in swagger. Malone doesn’t aim high, but he clearly states his point of view. Like “White Iverson,” “Patient” is the ultimate flex-fest, summed up soundly on the hook.
“I know my wrist be dancin’ crazy / been on some fly shit lately / used to be so damn patient / but now it’s f*ck you, pay me…”
“I swear there ain’t no time for women on this come up / it’s either the p*ssy or the commas.” Sigh, “Go Flex” is okay, but certainly not the cat’s meow. He does a better job of sharing his come-up on “Congratulations.” Previously, he’s flexed on both “White Iverson” and “Patient,” so this is overkill.
Kehlani joins him on the lush, indulgent, and sexy “Feel.” Like much of Stoney, vibe supplants depth and lyricism. “Feel” isn’t quite a wasted opportunity, but it’s no homerun either. The focus shifts from sex to assorted shallowness on “Too Young,” clearly the product of the 21-year old mind.
“I don’t wanna die too young, too young, too young / counting bands, hallelujah…”
Malone cites numerous examples of his young, privileged life, characterized by money, sex, and drugs. Glamorous…
“Congratulations” sounds faded from the start. Once again, production is a selling point. Post Malone handles the lush, slow, and sung hook:
“My mama called, seen you on TV / said some shit done changed / ever since we was on / I dreamed it all / ever since I was young / they said I wouldn’t be nothing / now they always say congratulations…”
Quavo pop raps his verse initially, before changing to straight rap. This contrasts the performance by Malone. The track successfully depicts his come-up. All in all, it’s a respectable, but by no means the second coming. “Up There” and “Yours Truly, Austin Post” conclude the standard edition of the album respectably if unexceptionally. Interestingly, one of the better tracks – “Leave” is only available on the deluxe edition, along with “Hit this Hard,” “Money Made Me Do It” (featuring 2 Chainz), and “Feeling Whitney.”
Ultimately, Stoney is a flawed debut album from Post Malone. It has moments that satisfy without a doubt, but more often than not, there’s a lack of distinct, artistry. Essentially, Malone seems to be going through the motions, but does nothing to assert himself as the next urban superstar. There’s enough to give him another look in the future, but he must step up his game.
Gems: “Déjà vu,” “No Option,” “White Iverson,” “Patient,” “Congratulations” & “Leave” (Deluxe only)
Post Malone • Stoney • Republic • Release: 12.9.16
Photo Credit: Republic