Post Malone returns for first time since 2019 with new album, ‘Twelve Carat Toothache’

Post Malone’s newest album, which dropped on June 3, discusses fame and its many caveats through the exploration of themes like drug abuse, collapsing relationships, and psychological deterioration.


Maria Vassett/Special for azcentral, Arizona Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Post Malone performs at Gila River Arena in Glendale on Nov 8, 2019.

Ariana Lessard, Arts Reporter

Post Malone has been on the rise since 2016, when his album Stoney debuted at number six on the Billboard 200, later peaking at number four. His newest album, Twelve Carat Toothache, dropped on June 3.

As hinted at by the title, this album explores the different ways in which Post Malone has learned that money cannot buy happiness. The collection of songs depicts drugs, sex, and the extreme lifestyles that celebrities often sport.

“Cooped Up,” featuring fellow rapper Roddy Ricch, talks about the desire to party after being “cooped up,” as the title suggests. The lyric, “I been waiting so long, now I gotta resurface,” encapsulates this feeling, which teenagers and young adults forced to weather the pandemic undoubtedly relate to.

Roddy Ricch, for his feature, discusses how excited he is to be on tour with Post Malone, touching a bit on his own rise to fame.

“Lemon Tree” opens with Malone discussing insomnia caused by an unhealthy relationship. The metaphor of a lemon tree stays consistent throughout this song, with the lyric “could you be a little less sour, we’re rotting by the hour,” tying together the message of a rotting relationship.
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Malone also compares his relationship to others’ fruits and his jealousy at others’ romantic successes, as shown by the lyric, “I guess I’m just s*** out of luck growing a lemon tree.”

“Insane” depicts Malone stealing somebody’s girl, only to decide he doesn’t actually want her, leaving her to go back to her ex. The opening lyric conveys this plot point with the line, “Take a b**** give her back.” This song is fun and problematic and definitely would serve well as a hype song.

The lines, “Yeah, we both got a car, but it’s different. Yeah, we both have a house, but it’s different,” shows how they’re in different worlds because of Malone’s celebrity status, yet another thing splintering this fracturing relationship.

“Wasting Angels” is a testament to all the things, and people, that Malone feels he has wasted. This song, featuring Kid Laroi, is a mix of Malone’s depiction of the disoriented state he finds himself in, and the desire to not let another good woman go. The line, “This is like when I was sane before the fame,” I found particularly telling as to how Malone feels he’s evolved over the past few years.

The line “I should listen to you now, if I never have,” repeats toward the end of this song, to drive home the point that Malone knows he ought to take the advice he has thrown aside. When this lyric turns into an echo, it becomes especially effective, implying the interpretation that it is already too late.

This final song on the album is troubling but beautiful. “New Recording 12, Jan 3, 2020,” opens with the lyric, “took another sip from my ash can,” setting the ominous tone that stays consistent throughout this song. While quick and short, it hints at an untimely death for the artist, which is what makes this song so ominous.

The line, “Don’t bother keeping in touch, when I go out it ain’t gonna hurt at all,” makes me concerned for Malone’s mental health, especially as he uses the term “euthanasia” and has greatly depicted using drugs as a form of escapism throughout this album. That being said, despite its unsettling nature, it is my favorite song from the album.

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