Saturday, January 02, 2021

Machine Gun Kelly's "Tickets To My Downfall” is a first row ticket to the rebirth of Pop Punk

Pop punk is the kind of genre that most, if not all people (outside the hormone enraged teenage youth of the 1990s) are afraid to admit that they loved. Ever since the likes of Blink-182, rarely has an artist or band picked up a guitar and sang a record lamenting about their troubles with their high school crush. That is until, a well known rapper, by the name of Machine Gun Kelly, or MGK, decided to venture into unchartered waters, and drop his pop punk debut album.

Tickets To My Downfall is a record of raw emotion and self-reflection. MGK, who is no stranger to conflicts, nor to being vocal about his emotions, takes a jab on several sensitive subjects throughout the entirety of this pop punk album. From his abusive relationship with drugs, to dealing with fame and anxiety, to past toxic relationships and current ones, and even to the death of his father.

On this album we get a panoramic look at the complex character of MGK. 

Our first encounter with his broad display of emotions comes on “Bloody Valentine” where MGK confesses his desire to find a loving and meaningful romantic relationship. Yet one track past “Bloody Valentine” you get “Forget Me Too” where MGK tapped in talented singer Halsey, and where they both share their wishes to find closure in past relationships.

So this Ying-Yang, black and white, two sides of the same coin that we as listeners experience on this record is what MGK intended to provide us - yet at the same time, we are completely blown away at how fine-tuned this whole record sounds - from the vocals to the instruments, to the rebirth of a whole genre.

The record –without a doubt- takes an emotional peak with the song Lonely - one of the more expressive songs on the album -  where MGK reflects on his relationship with deceased father and aunt, and wishes he could have had more time with them.

 But the album isn’t all remorse and self-reflecting. After all, it would be a sin if the self-proclaimed ‘Rap Devil’ and ‘Wild Boy” didn’t drop a song or two that would rupture the speakers and along with them your eardrums. And he does just that with the record “Concert for the Aliens” where we get the sporadic MGK we've become accustomed to with in rap, but this time we get the Pop Punk version.

In the case of Machine Gun Kelly, or MGK, he decided to venture to the furthest end of the spectrum, by reviving a genre that has been dead and buried for two decades with other lifeless genres like Dubstep and UK-garage.  Not only that, but he was able to not make a fool out of himself in the process. He dominated the transition, from the look to the sound, to the music, and even the album cover. Here's to the revival of punk pop. 

Ali Fawaz

Instagram: @_thewritewords & @aliifawazz


Image: Machine Gun Kelly Youtube

1 comment:

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