With her fluffy blue collar image and Hot Topic wardrobe, Machine Gun Kelly always seemed lighter than her serious rap music would suggest. Over the course of four feature films and two EPs on Sean Combs’ Bad Boy Records, his audience hasn’t grown with him, but listlessly mingled alongside him, waiting for something interesting to happen. Despite the flirtations with a more pop sound, he always returned to moody tales of persecution; He seemed neither aware of nor particularly interested in his role as a white rap star, except for the opportunity it offered him to fight with Eminem and make eyes on the daughter of the then-teenage rapper’s major. The fast-paced flow that once made Kelly a fixture in the Apollo windows has never been questioned, but, save for isolated guilty pleasures in 201
Apparently, all he needed was Travis Barker in his corner. Tickets for My Downfall restarts MGK as heir to the pop-punk canon of the early ’00s, with Barker producing and playing drums. Barker’s fingerprints are everywhere: most songs are punctuated in under three minutes, filled with three-chord melodies, big hooks and breaking bridges, nestled in the same 85 to 110 bpm sweet spot as the singles catalog blink-182. “Concert for aliens” is the most faithful State enema homage, with its extraterrestrial theme, pulsating Hoppus-ian bass track and four-note guitar solo. MGK’s sung voice, which tended to reedy when not inserted floweringVocal effects, wields a growl vaguely reminiscent of Deryck Whibley’s SoCal-by-way-of-MTV cadence.
Even the most sugary pop-punk packs occupy a lineage, which can’t be worn as easily as a studded belt. But the equation of authenticity on a record shaped by the soundtracks of a turn-of-the-century suburban mall is different from what Kelly was used to as a rapper. In the way that blink’s grinning skate-punk insolence perfectly captured the light-heartedness of the Clinton era, Kelly’s navel mopier gaze suggests a generational attitude: if he arrived a few years later, it’s easy to imagine him finding his footing. in the emo-rap explosion on Soundcloud. Unlike Blink’s most recent effort NINE, who experienced a modern synthetic sound in a mostly indifferent way, My Downfall Tickets embraces its source material without hedging its bets. “Drunk Face” tells the same cycle of drugs and heartbreak that MGK has been singing about for years, but in the context of a downtempo worm it echoes American Hi-Fi more than Hopsin. To his eternal credit, Kelly has finally found both a genre and producer as blatantly allergic to subtlety as he is.
Tickets for My Downfall is a real return to post-9 / 11’s gauze TRL countdowns e Tony Hawk multiplayer. Halsey’s voice flies to the anguished “forget me too” breakup jam, which could work as the show’s tune if it weren’t that strong. “Bloody Valentine” is a winning bittersweet ballad anchored to a sober bassline, while the title track is practically operatic: after a dramatic acoustic introduction, Barker’s drums oscillate between a hot pre-chorus and a half-time hook. The collaborations of Iann Dior and Blackbear are intertwined with light-trap drums, which create small deviations from the model.
Blackbear’s song “My Ex’s Best Friend” is particularly instructive in terms of the fate that MGK avoided with its well-timed pivot. Blackbear, an equally dark and tattooed former Instagram boyfriend, writes wallowing R&B from the perpetually abandoned lover’s point of view; his revenge (“Look what damage you’ve done to me!” complains “my ex’s best friend”) makes him a deeply unpleasant storyteller. As late as last summer’s “FLOOR 13”, Kelly stirred up a comparable spite that I’ll miss you when I’m gone, taunting “Don’t cry at my funeral” like a sophomore just coughing up his lunch. money. My Downfall TicketsThe “play this when I’m gone” ending shows the same fatalism, but MGK’s concern – crucial – is in potential survivors rather than his rivals. “You’re about to cry, and baby, it’s alright,” Kelly sings on melancholy guitar strings. It is more theatrical is more compassionate than his travel-in-the-mind rap records: a win for all.
In some ways, Kelly’s rebirth as a pop-punk revivalist may be the ultimate form of fan service: the aesthetic is much more suited to her diary instincts and the Warped Tour sequel. My Downfall Tickets it is certainly not a deviation from MGK’s past work, but the new environment considerably lightens his music even between hormones and histrionics. With Travis Barker on his side, he may win over skeptics by accusing him of trend-hopping, but the best part of Fall is that he doesn’t take the whole business too seriously.
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