Every once in awhile, there comes a hip-hop artist whose hype outlives their actual talent. Luckily, that's not the case for Post Malone. His debut record Stoney lives up to its hype that it received all year.
Post Malone came out of almost nowhere. It all began with his fateful single 'White Iverson' which does appear on Stoney. While the lyrics have become somewhat of a meme, the song itself still hasn't really lost any quality. It's sweet atmosphere paired with Post Malone's grooving, liberating flow really defines him as an artist - he has a very unique and refreshing sound. These are often two things you don't see come together: atmospheric hip-hop instrumentals and smooth, free-going flow. It's nice to see them together for a change, and, for that matter, to see how successful it can be.
This album isn't about memes, though. It begins atmospherically and optimistically with 'Broken Whiskey Glass,' Post Malone's distant voice resonating darkly with sweet melodies above the minimal instrumental. The atmosphere is what truly sells this track. It is followed by 'Big Lie,' which has a poppier vibe to it, the music resonating sweetly. It feels almost like a Chainsmokers instrumental set to hip-hop. That's a formula for success. Even poppier is the next track 'Deja Vu,' the calming intro leading into a dinky yet sexual verse, Justin Bieber bringing the hook in cleanly and with some nice sensuality.
This album does fall into a little monotony, however. The last stretch of the album is very solid, but it doesn't take many risks or deviate from what he's comfortable with. His debut shouldn't just showcase what he can do and just that - there needs to be a balance of uncertainty that's left to be polished up. There's risk in songs like 'Cold,' a darker and threatening vibe contrasting the poppy side. You don't see a lot of that on this record.
Post Malone's debut Stoney lives up to its hype with flying colors. It's a refreshing hip-hop sound amidst a very saturated genre, and that's where it really succeeds. There's not enough chances taken in this genre anymore, but hopefully Post Malone is a flagbearer for things to come in 2017.
Favorite Tracks: Cold, Broken Whiskey Glass, White Iverson
Least Favorite Track: Go Flex
Rating: 79 / 100
Buy or listen to Stoney here: