Machine Gun Kelly
bloom


2.5
average

Review

by Brendan Schroer USER (73 Reviews)
May 14th, 2017 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Will the real Machine Gun Kelly please stand up?

Am I out of my head"
Am I out of my mind"
If you only knew the bad things I like
Don't think that I can explain it
What can I say, it's complicated


Once in a while, the genesis of a review is just plain morbid curiosity. Those five lines that started this write-up have been racking around my brain for months, as the chorus of “Bad Things” by rapper Machine Gun Kelly has fascinated me in how much of a disgrace it is to Fastball’s classic “Out of my Head,” whose melodies it samples. Little did I know the full extent of eardrum desecration I’d find upon hearing the entire track, complete with Kelly’s awful flow and cliched “bad boy” lyrics in the verses. Of course, the fact that it’s such an earworm doesn’t help matters. In any case, my expectations for “MGK”s new album Bloom were already buried under the ground before it even came out. But who knows" Maybe it will be a pleasant surprise" Or perhaps it will be just as bad as many of us thought" Unfortunately, listening to the album ended up raising even more questions than answers.

Machine Gun Kelly decided to take a scattershot approach to Bloom, throwing a bunch of things at the wall to see what sticks. Around the album’s central hip-hop core is a smattering of other influences ranging from trap, pop, country, and even blues-rock, so at least some variety is maintained. But with variety comes a price, as the mood swings on Bloom make it incredibly inconsistent. To break it down bluntly, we basically get two sides of Machine Gun Kelly on this album: the aggressive hip-hop “I don’t give a fuck, but I’m also a badass” side, and the sensitive melodic pop side with tender melodies and a number of female guest spots. As weird as it sounds, that first side is way more strong and effective here. When Kelly angrily raps over bass-boosted trap beats and sinister low-tempo instrumental crawls, we get some of his best work to date. Opener “The Gunner” kicks everything off with a bang, with the rapper exhibiting a decent flow over dark, moody piano work and painting a vivid portrait of both braggadocio and anger. Meanwhile, Kelly’s “I don’t give a fuck” persona is best depicted in the fantastic album highlight “Can’t Walk,” a slow dreamy number with a sluggish tempo and probably the laziest line deliveries I’ve heard in quite some time. But they’re lazy deliveries that work, as the surreal atmosphere anchors the piece effectively. Add to that a fun trap song like “Trap Paris” as well as the smoky blues-influenced rap rock punch of “Wake + Bake,” and there are some great moments to be had.

But the second side of Machine Gun Kelly - the pop side - presents a dilemma that I still can’t quite figure out. For all of his bragging and anger, he still falls into the same trap that Eminem did with Recovery, trying too hard to make sincere and inspirational ballads while working within a hip-hop context. It’s a tough tightrope to walk, and Machine Gun Kelly doesn’t quite succeed at creating a strong balance of the two. Most of the ballads here range from the forgettable to the flat-out annoying, and there’s not enough variation to tell them apart from each other. The main motif of “At My Best,” which features Hailee Steinfeld on guest vocals, sounds like a complete ripoff of the sing-along finale of Charlie Puth’s “See You Again,” while the falsetto vocals of “Go for Broke”’s guest singer James Arthur are just horrendously cringe-inducing. However, there is one exception to the mediocrity, and that’s the surprisingly fun country ballad “Rehab.” Acoustic guitars take the forefront here, while Kelly exhibits a strikingly heartfelt attempt at clean singing. The lyrics are still nothing new or special, but hearing him experiment with a few extra tricks is pretty entertaining. But the album almost gets derailed by its worst offender which, as I stated before, happens to be “Bad Things.” You’d think having a mixture of Fastball and Pachelbel’s Canon would be a decent concept for a chorus, but the female vocals are so generic and the rapping is so bland that it doesn’t mean a thing. Just take in this lyrical snippet for a moment:

Aye
Nothing's that bad
If it feels good
So you come back
Like I knew you would
And we're both wild
And the night's young
And you're my drug
Breathe you in 'til my face numb
Drop it down to that bass drum


It’s all complemented by an unimpressive flow and bored delivery that pretty much nail the coffin.

The problem with Bloom is that it’s hard to make out what kind of artist Machine Gun Kelly wants to be. There’s a difference between diversity and lacking a definable artistic direction, and Kelly essentially fits both of these labels on the record. Granted, the album isn’t bad per se, as there are some excellent songs that result from the rapper just wanting to ride some strong grooves and act like a laid-back badass. But the question is: is he really a badass, or is it all a front" I’m not sure I can answer that one, and I’m not sure if Machine Gun Kelly can either.



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user ratings (34)
Chart.
1.6
very poor


Comments:Add a Comment 
SoccerRiot
May 13th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought this guy's first album was actually pretty good, so it kinda sucked hearing how average this was. Right now, it seems like he's going through an identity crisis. Oh well, can't win 'em all, right? :]

SowingSeason
Moderator
May 13th 2017


25036 Comments


Nice reviw. 'Bad Things' is a pretty sexy track, but I never expected the album to be decent.

Digging: Brand New - Science Fiction

SoccerRiot
May 13th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks, Sowing. Yeah, I'm kinda shocked I could give this a 2.5, lol. I thought it would be closer to a 1.5 or 2. But there are definitely some songs I plan to return to in the future

SoccerRiot
May 13th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^ lol yeah, Kendrick is fucking garbage

rodrigo90
May 13th 2017


3318 Comments


What kind of music makes this guy?

Tags: hip-hop - emo


Ok....

VaxXi
May 13th 2017


4135 Comments


this guy is the absolute worst

SoccerRiot
May 13th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The emo tag is quite unwarranted too (obviously)

Green Baron
May 13th 2017


24102 Comments


the entire concept of At My Best makes my eyes roll

SoccerRiot
May 13th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well yeah, and the way it uses the Marilyn Monroe line in the chorus is pretty cheesy and stupid, lol

sempiturtle
May 14th 2017


1104 Comments


I AM THA GUNNA

I only heard like 3-4 songs off this and they were all meh except the first track.

SoccerRiot
May 14th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The whole album is pretty meh, but it has some cool tunes once in a while :]

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2017


8452 Comments


i really did like that Fastball song but "Bad Things" rather ruined it for me

Digging: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Polygondwanaland

SoccerRiot
May 15th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fastball's a good band in general. That entire second album is great

AmbushReality
May 15th 2017


40 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Couldn't agree more regarding the identity crisis. Dude needs to figure out what he wants to be. I'm a little different though, I enjoy a couple of the ballads/pop tracks, and really dislike the trap stuff. I feel like he's at his best when he's attempting to be what his name suggests he is, the "machine gun" style to tracks like "Chip off the Block," "The Return," "See My Tears," "Breaking News," etc...An entire record of stuff like that would put him back on the map for me. *Bloom* and *General Admission* are just way too scatterbrained and inconsistent for me to enjoy. *Lace Up* and the *Lace Up Mixtape* were both really solid IMO.

SoccerRiot
May 15th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

For sure. Lace Up was quite good, and so was the mixtape. Kinda reminds me of The Weeknd in that way... the early "lesser known" stuff is what gets acclaimed, but then the mainstream works end up being more of a stumbling block

dopeman216
May 15th 2017


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Its like yall want to see Kells sad and pissed off. This album is supposed to be about his life when he's finally happy. The rap game is about the growth of an artists career and what they have accomplished. Not rapping about the same shit over and over and using the same delivery and beats.

SoccerRiot
May 15th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"dopeman216"



"1 comment"



ok

SoccerRiot
May 15th 2017


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Not rapping about the same shit over and over"



Considering about 70% or more of this album is about weed and the pursuit of it, I'm not sure what you're talking about

JigglyPDiddy
May 15th 2017


3225 Comments


mehrrr, hate his music tbh

Digging: Fever Ray - Plunge

wwf
May 15th 2017


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

he definitely makes it hard to actually in good conscience enjoy his non-cringe stuff

Digging: Terror Pigeon! - We Will Never Run Out of Love!



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