Album: Twelve Carat Toothache by Post Malone
Release Date: June 3, 2022
Run Time: 43 minutes
Label: Mercury and Republic Records
In Post Malones' fourth studio album, "Twelve Carat Toothache," he bares more vulnerability for listeners than he ever has, while also diverting from a melancholic focus on his life to deliver the upbeat sound that has been the mark of some of his biggest hits.
After the release of his third album "Hollywood's Bleeding" in 2019, Malone's fans would once again rejoice as he announced in April of 2020 that he was working on a new album.
Now that it's here, it is safe to say that this album was worth the wait, as it displays more raw emotion than any of the previous albums in Malone's discography, only being hampered at times by subpar feature performances.
The intro "Reputation" sets the tone with a somber piano as Malone delves into the regret he's left with after a failed relationship and his use of alcohol as coping mechanism. "Take my own life just to save yours/ Drink it all down just to throw it up," he sings.
Malone's struggles with alcoholism is a recurring theme throughout this album, revisited in the song "Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol". In this song, he describes a fight he got into while drunk, in which he lost some of his teeth.
"Last night I had thirty-two teeth in my mouth. Some went away" sang Malone. This line might also be part of the inspiration for the albums' title.
Another frequent subject on this album is Malone's romantic troubles.
In the song "When I'm Alone," Malone details the regret he feels because of his infidelity with a former partner. However, he is on the receiving end of heartbreak at points on this album as well. In the song "Wrapped Around Your Finger" he sings about a girl he keeps coming back to despite knowing she's manipulating him.
"Ten billion cuties that think I'm the man, but if you come around I'll be eatin' out your hand" Malone sings over a drum pattern, using a melody that gives the song the feel of a summer pop hit despite it being a story of emotional abuse from his lover.
The saddest this album gets is "Euthanasia," in which Malone not only mocks himself for struggling to remain sober, but compares the act of painlessly killing a patient suffering from an incurable disease to him committing suicide as a means of ridding himself of the suffering he discusses throughout the album.
There are happier spots on this project though, one of them named "I Like You (A Happier Song)." This song sees Malone and Doja Cat tell the tale of a couple who haven't quite committed to each other, but choose to care more about the fun they have together rather than putting a title on their relationship. They go as far as flying to France and waking up in Japan later that day.
The song "Insane" is a welcome juxtaposition to the majority of the album. It sees Malone at his most confident and braggadocious, rapping over booming 808's about showing a woman the luxuries his status affords him. "Put her on game. This is not the same though/This is a Mulsanne, diamonds make a rainbow" he raps over an instrumental that creates a catchy melody.
The lowlights of this album were the features, with Doja Cat and The Weeknd being notable exceptions. Roddy Rich's performance on "Cooped Up" lacked the energy his hits usually boast, and in The Kid LAROIs' verse on "Wasting Angels," his voice sounds so similar to Malone's that it was difficult to tell whose voice belonged to who without looking up the lyrics. Gunna's verse on "I Cannot be (A Sadder Song)" is at points slurred together beyond understanding.
Aside from disappointing guest verses, "Twelve Carat Toothache" is a solid addition to Malone's discography, and allows listeners to see him at his best, both when he's being vulnerable and reveling in his success.