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Post Malone - Austin (Album Review)

Wednesday, 02 August 2023 Written by Jack Press

Photo: Adam DeGross

Self-loathing has rarely sounded as good as it does on ‘Austin’, Post Malone’s hip-hop-denying, guitar-embracing, synth-pop follow-up to last year’s comedown ‘Twelve Carat Toothache’. Produced by Post himself, and sharply assisted by some of pop’s biggest hitmakers — think Andrew Watts, Louis Bell, Max Martin — it’s the perfect soundtrack for lazy sunday brunches by the pool. And not much else.

The hardest pill to swallow on ‘Austin’ isn’t its so-last-year sounds, but its watered-down attempts at saying something that matters.  ‘Twelve Carat Toothache’ was soaked in sadness, offering a sombre reminder that just because you're famous you’re not immune from debilitating problems, but here the messaging is mixed with glib, unfunny couplets that puncture any earnest attempts at connecting.

With Post entering fatherhood ahead of the album, ‘Austin’ reflects on those experiences with an eagle-eye view.

Don’t Understand’s sobering confession of “I don’t understand how you like me so much, because I don’t like myself” opens your eyes, but it’s undercut by his insistence on Socialite that he’s “feeling naughty up on a Sunday, fuck in the backseat of a Hyundai, I’m calling her Shrek ‘cause she got a donkey”.

In the plus column, Mourning’s soft strumming, sparse synths and sledgehammer reverb sound like light pouring in through the cracks in your curtains, while Buyer Beware rides an acoustic Oasis-esque riff the size of a wave into futuristic walls of synth-funk. You’ll be grooving as you pour your heart out.

That’s about it, though. The dreary opener Don’t Understand lacks depth, coming on like a Snow Patrol B-side, Landmine country-pops its way back to the 2010s, and Enough Is Enough flings synths against three chords and the truth so passionately it screams coffee shop playlist.

‘Austin’ surrenders the chance to say a lot and instead says little, swimming in the shallow end for 17 songs instead of diving in headfirst. As a summer soundtrack, it’s a passable vibe. You sense that wasn’t its author’s stated aim.

Post Malone Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu August 03 2023 - ATLANTA Georgia - Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood (USA)
Sat August 05 2023 - DALLAS Texas - Dos Equis Pavilion (USA)
Sun August 06 2023 - DALLAS Texas - Dos Equis Pavilion (USA)
Tue August 08 2023 - THE WOODLANDS Texas - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman (USA)
Thu August 10 2023 - ALBUQUERQUE New Mexico - Isleta Amphitheater (USA)
Sat August 12 2023 - PHOENIX Arizona - Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre (formerly Ak-Chin Pavilion) (USA)
Sun August 13 2023 - CHULA VISTA California - North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre (USA)
Tue August 15 2023 - WHEATLAND California - Toyota Amphitheatre (USA)
Wed August 16 2023 - MOUNTAIN VIEW California - Shoreline Amphitheatre (USA)
Sat August 19 2023 - SAN BERNARDINO California - Glen Helen Amphitheater (USA) Tue November 21 2023 - AUCKLAND Outerfields at Western Springs

Thu November 23 2023 - BRISBANE Brisbane Showgrounds
Sat November 25 2023 - CANBERRA TBC
Sun November 26 2023 - GOLD COAST TBC
Wed November 29 2023 - SYDNEY Domain
Thu November 30 2023 - MELBOURNE Melbourne Showgrounds
Sat December 02 2023 - BALLARAT TBC
Sun December 03 2023 - PERTH TBC

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