Machine Gun Kelly Offers A Mature Sound on ‘bloom’ (Album Review)

Our Rating

7 . . . . . . .

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Adults will tell you that your 20s aren’t designed for you to have life planned out. You’re just beginning to understand how to be a functioning adult and contribute to society for the majority of this age. Your early 20s are full of partying, long nights, and living the life you imagine every person lives after they can legally drink. Then you hit your mid-20s and begin to figure out what path you want to go down in life. You start to reflect on who you are and what you’ve done; what will my legacy be when I leave Earth? By your late 20s you’ve begun to change and don’t even recognize that person in your early 20s anymore.

I now have one thing in common with Machine Gun Kelly and it’s the paragraph above (we’re also born a day apart). I think back to all the craziest times in my life and they all happened in my early 20s. For MGK, we witnessed all of his wild times as he was a 22 year old adjusting to fame and fortune. The Cleveland, OH rapper/actor jumped onto the scene in 2012 with Lace Up and his hit ‘Wild Boy’, a song that was often played at loud levels to turn up at the function(s). Going through this age spectrum in your 20s makes you see who you are, who you want to be, and what you have to do to become that person. Bloom is the audio documentation of this for Gunna.

Gone are the crazy, amped up tracks as Bloom serves more as a transitional album. MGK is branded as a Hip-Hop artist but his sound for this album steers further into the pop lane. Tracks such as the lead single ‘Bad Things’ featuring Camilla Cabello and ‘At My Best’ feat. Hailee Steinfeld are your traditional Top 40 rap songs; rapper wants to make the pop charts, enlists pop singers for the hooks. These songs have different concepts lyrically but it’s easy to see that if ‘Bad Things’ didn’t pan out, ‘At My Best’ would be used as the backup single to gain those radio spins.

Bloom sounds like reflection from a man that’s on the path to being a better person. The production is mellow for most of this journey, filled with guitar and piano melodies that make it sound like you’re walking into a desolate bar 40 miles away from the city. ‘Wake + Bake’, ‘Rehab’, and ‘Let You Go’ all fit this mood with the last three songs of the album playing into the self reflection aspect of your late 20s. ‘27’ sees MGK pondering his life and the decisions he’s made in his 27 years of life. This is a subject that many of us begin to ponder once we get older. ‘What is my legacy? Have I done enough with my life that has impacted others?’ It’s a question that we’ll never understand the answer to, especially at such a young age in life.

The overall vibe of Bloom is somber but records like ‘Trap Paris’ feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Quavo help spice things up, allowing MGK to show us you can still have fun. ‘Can’t Walk’ is the outlier in terms of sound. This is a record that sounds like it came from the future where the majority of Bloom sounds like it’s set in a bar. Taking this track out of the equation, MGK created an album that can be used for those who are stuck figuring things out. He doesn’t have all the answers but he’s using his power to leave this planet being considered a legend.

Repeatable: ‘The Gunner’, ‘Kiss The Sky’, ‘Trap Paris’ feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Quavo, ‘Moonwalkers’ feat. DubXX

Skippable: ‘At My Best’ feat. Hailee Steinfeld, ‘Can’t Walk’

By Joe Coad

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