Twelve Carat Toothache (out immediately, June third) is Submit Malone’s shortest album to this point. And in line with Posty, it is a deliberate play to withstand the overloaded observe lists that dominate streaming platforms; “I’ve made a whole lot of compromises, particularly musically, however now I don’t really feel like I need to anymore,” he mentioned 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 a degree, it did.”
This factors to a couple 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 dangerous boy” icon, taking a few of that stress 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 might be something he desires it to be, and being liberated all the time sounds fairly modern.
Or, the shortage of preciousness and stress may lead to all of those songs, basically, being filler. Submit Malone may put something out at this level and other people 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, principally hole assortment of songs that lack the capability to chop by the noise? The reply, sadly, is the latter — however not and not using a few illuminating moments.
Submit Malone desires you to know that he’s tortured. He has been going by it. He’s not been caring for himself, smoking an unholy quantity of cigarettes, and sabotaging his relationships. From the very first tune, “Popularity,” he warns the listener with a laundry checklist of vices that he feels is tied to future: “I used to be born to lift hell/ I used to be born to take capsules/ 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.