Year - 2016
Stoney is the debut album by American rapper Post Malone (Austin Post). Stoney is a blend of rap, trap, country and pop. An odd mash up of styles that work surprisingly well for the young rapper of 22.
Malone received record labels asking him to sign to them after releasing his debut single White Iverson which gained mass critical acclaim on both youtube and Soundcloud gaining well over a million views/streams within the first months of its release. From this Malone went on to sign to Republic records and record Stoney.
Broken whisky glass opens the record, a southern inspired song that mixes slow auto-tuned pop and fast paced trap, the two go together well and set the standard for the records style as a whole.
An interesting opener for sure.
Malone follows with Big lie, a catchy and single worthy pop song that shows off Malone's unusual but completely unique vocal style. Deja Vu follows and it is at this point that Post Malone's success as an artist is truly shown as it features Justin Beiber; an artist that is definitely hated however he is also one of the most popular in the world at the same time. The fact Malone features such a popular singer on his first album shows how quickly his acclaim has came. The song itself is not particularly amazing but its certainly not terrible, with Beiber fitting with the songs vibe and tone, showing off his impressive vocals.
No Option starts off as a relaxed rap but quickly becomes a massive anthem with the chorus as Malone sings "Rolex with the diamonds keep me shining // Gotta have perfect timing when I'm riding", Easily a song capable of being a radio single with the easily accessible chorus. The following song, Cold, follows a similar pattern in that the rapping is good but the chorus is where Malone shines - the beat is undeniably memorable and fits perfectly with everything, Malone's talent at producing backing tracks is shown here.
The aforementioned White Iverson is the song that got Malone into this position and how one song has spawned such a new star is incredible, but White Iverson is no Simon Cowell one-hit wonder song, Malone created and wrote this song himself and his effort paid off. Undeniably catchy, even to a degree emotional as Malone talks of not being rich yet "but you know I ain't broke", Malone sings of how he's going to make it and as anyone can clearly see, he truly has. As this song was written before Malone's success the lyrical style seems different, whereas most songs are about the post-success glam lifestyle White Iverson is very different, it's all about getting to the success - a foreshadowing to what would come.
Post Malone is not just a rapper with a lot of money who likes to tell you he has money, he is also a human who can show an incredible level of emotion on tracks such as I fall apart. Well Written, well produced and well thought out. I fall Apart really shows off Malone's raw vocal talent compared to the often effect-laden style the album has mostly.
Malone's ability as a singer and rapper is shown well on Patient, subjectively Stoney's best track, with fast rapping and slow choruses that blend together surprisingly well. "Don't mean to brag but can you blame me?", Malone shows he has made it and after his humble beginnings and no doubt insults received for wanting to be a rapper he displays through his lyrics in Patient that he's the one on top now and he can officially say "fuck you, pay me" to those who looked down on him before White Iverson's popularity exploded.
Most assume rappers have no musical ability, Post Malone proves this wrong as he capable of playing guitar, while nothing too technical Malone plays a pop country-rap style song with a hip-hop beat and an acoustic guitar (which he does actually play - no session musicians here). the odd style mash-up works well on Go Flex and its not surprising why Malone chose this as a single.
On Feel singer Kehlani features and adds female pop vocals to the song that doesn't feel out of place on the album and actually flows into the track perfectly however it is easily one of the albums more forgettable tracks as is Too Young, by no means awful just not as good as some of the albums more memorable cuts.
Stoney soon picks up after two lesser quality tracks as Malone's second hit Congratulations (feat Quavo) comes up next and it is clear why this song became such a popular hit on youtube and the radio. The instrumentals are incredible, the vocals and lyrics are the track's biggest selling point. Post Malone by the time of recording Congratulations has "made it" (as he states in his lyrics) and is now showing the people who said he'd "be nothing" that they should look at him now with his rapid success.
Up there feels like a completely unique track, with clicks, piano and guitar - these elements don't feel out of place however it is one of Stoney's weakest tracks, despite musically actually being "real" with proper instruments - However Stoney is quickly brought back into full gear with Yours truly, Austin Post, this ends the standard version of the album and it's a fitting end as Malone sings "I just came down from the high of my life", and it wouldn't be surprising with Post Malone's adoring fans this album will be the "high" of their life. Post Malone may be a new artist but his impact on music as a humble rapper who hangs out with youtube stars is truly fresh and something that has caught many by surprise.
Daniel A. Clarke