Published Dec 13, 2016The hip-hop gods decided to end this otherwise abysmal year on a high note with a number of high-calibre album releases, including projects from J. Cole, Ab-Soul, Childish Gambino and the long-awaited debut album from Post Malone, Stoney. The album showcases Post's natural vibrato and a roster of revered producers. Unfortunately, the many high points of Stoney are juxtaposed with undeniable lows.
The album is stacked with quintessential club music; the lyrics, which focus on money, drugs and women, are simple, and nearly every song features heavy bass and prominent trap snares. There are a couple of tracks that show off Post's vulnerable side, though: the Illangelo-produced "I Fall Apart" details Post's experience with heartbreak, while the acoustic cut "Feeling Whitney" offers deeper perspective into his drug use.
Easily the best song on the album, though, is "Up There," produced by Pharrell Williams. Post Malone's mellow croon glides effortlessly over an earworm piano melody, and the bass-and-snare rhythmic pattern is softer compared to the rest of the project. Stoney also includes Post's FKi-produced breakout single "White Iverson," which is enjoyable, but a little out of place given its status as a summer 2015 song.
The biggest flops are "Broken Whiskey Glass" and "Leave," two tracks that might befit a country-western soundtrack but don't blend well with the rest of the project.
Stoney isn't going to go down in history as one of the best albums of 2016, but it certainly highlights Post Malone's ongoing ability to generate hits.
Pick up Stoney on orange vinyl via Umusic. (Republic Records)