Twelve Carat Toothache (out at the moment, June third) is Submit Malone’s shortest album up to now. And in accordance with Posty, this can be a deliberate play to withstand the overloaded observe lists that dominate streaming platforms; “I’ve made numerous compromises, particularly musically, however now I don’t really feel like I need to anymore,” he stated in a Billboard cowl story again in January, “I don’t want a No. 1; that doesn’t matter to me no extra, and at some extent, it did.”
This factors to some totally different potential outcomes for his fourth studio album — now that Submit Malone has certainly scored his a number of No. 1s, ascended to true headliner standing, and have become a “delicate unhealthy boy” icon, taking a few of that strain off to make hit after hit may completely work in his favor. If he has nothing to lose at this level in his considerably indestructible profession, then Twelve Carat Toothache may very well be something he desires it to be, and being liberated all the time sounds fairly modern.
Or, the dearth of preciousness and strain may lead to all of those songs, basically, being filler. Submit Malone may put something out at this level and folks will nonetheless hear; so, would that make him work tougher to create a extra private, experimental portrait? Or would he telephone it in with an aimless, largely hole assortment of songs that lack the capability to chop by the noise? The reply, sadly, is the latter — however not with out a few illuminating moments.
Submit Malone desires you to know that he’s tortured. He has been going by it. He’s not been taking good care of himself, smoking an unholy quantity of cigarettes, and sabotaging his relationships. From the very first music, “Status,” he warns the listener with a laundry listing of vices that he feels is tied to future: “I used to be born to lift hell/ I used to be born to take tablets/ I used to be born to fuck up.” These darkish and cynical truths aren’t essentially new ideas for Submit, since 2019’s Hollywood’s Bleeding actively doubled down on the tortured excesses of fame.