With the threat of a second wave looming, it’s becoming increasingly more important to remember that every cloud has its silver lining and, for me, that silver lining has been the release of brand new music. As a rock and metal enthusiast, I’ve relished in new albums from Boston Manor, All Time Low and Enter Shakari, whilst anticipating upcoming albums from; IDLES, Deftones and surprisingly for me, Machine Gun Kelly.
Colson Baker, known professionally as Machine Gun Kelly (MGK), has had a successful career thus far, having released 4 rap albums, feuded with Eminem, appeared at Wrestlemania and having starred in such films as; Nerve, Bird Box and the Motley Crue biopic, The Dirt. Machine Gun Kelly has proven himself a talented and versatile guy, however after the success of his hit rap rock single I Think I’m Okay, featuring Yungblud and Blink-182 drummer, and my personal musical hero, Travis Barker, MGK looks to prove his versatile further and explore a new rock sound, collaborating with Barker to release his fifth studio album, Tickets To My Downfall.
I should state that I am a huge fan of the pop punk genre with Paramore and Blink-182 being two of my favorite all time artists, so when I heard Travis Barker was producing an experimental pop punk album, I was cautiously optimistic. Fortunately, Tickets To My Downfall is an absolute powerhouse of an album that perfectly blends pop punk and rap together. MGK establishes his new punkier side early on with the opening track fittingly names title track followed by a toe tapping pop punk anthem Kiss Kiss. The song drunk face follows, re-establishing MGK’s rap roots that are reflected in the songs all I know (featuring Candy collaborator Trippie Red), nothing inside (featuring Iann Dior) and the single My Ex’s Best Friend (featuring Blackbear).
This being said, it is through the albums numerous pop punk anthems that Tickets To My Downfall truly takes flight, as following on from drunk face is the albums lead single, Bloody Valentine, and fittingly this is where the album peaks. Bloody Valentine is an epic pop punk anthem that is perhaps MGK’s best song to date as it echoes the new Matt Skiba Blink-182 sound that I can’t get out my head. This obvious Blink-182 inspiration is what makes Tickets To My Downfall a fun upbeat banger of an album and it is especially evident in the single concert for aliens, as well as, the minute long punk song WW111 and personal favorite song on the album, the Halsey collaboration Forget Me Too. If I was to be critical, which is why I’m writing this let’s be honest, the interlude tracks Banyan Tree and Kevin and Barracuda don’t add anything to the album, but then again interludes rarely do, I mean Kevin and Barracuda is literally just a snippet from a facetime call between MGK and Pete Davidson…
Overall, Tickets To My Downfall is an experimental project that transforms MGK into the rock star his was destined to be. Blending rap beats and pop punk energy effortlessly together, MGK and Travis Barker prove a musical force to be reckoned, crafting a album full of back to back bangers you’ll struggle to get out of you head such as; Forget Me Too, concert for aliens and Bloody Valentine. Tickets To My Downfall should please older MGK fans whilst gaining him some new ones, myself included.