Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella
5 Takeaways From Post Malone's New Album, 'Twelve Carat Toothache'
Post Malone's fourth studio album, 'Twelve Carat Toothache,' eschews hit-seeking songs for quieter introspection — letting his artistry shine.
Post Malone may be four albums into his career, but his latest, Twelve Carat Toothache, is the first that's truly written from the perspective of the man behind the superstar alias: Austin Richard Post.
His first full-length work in three years, Twelve Carat Toothache was recorded after Post moved from California to Utah, resulting in a different lyrical path than his previous albums — one that sees Post Malone more vulnerable than ever before.
Yet, the new introspective look from Post Malone still follows the singer's formula of recruiting heavyweight guests. Twelve Carat Toothache sees appearances from genre-bending stars The Weeknd and Doja Cat, new pop phenom The Kid LAROI, rappers Roddy Ricch and Gunna, and one of Post's musical heroes, indie-folk group Fleet Foxes.
Here are five key details to know about Post's star-studded — but highly confessional — new album.
'Twelve Carat Toothache' Is The Sound Of Passion Reigniting
After dropping 2019's Hollywood's Bleeding, Post relocated from Los Angeles to Utah to get away from the music business and city's fast pace. The change helped the anxiety that has been brewing inside him since junior high. However, the move didn't initially catapult him into a new phase of creative productivity.
"For the longest time, I lost my passion for making music," Post told Jimmy Fallon in May. "I lost that drive. But then, there was just one moment that snapped… and I said, 'This is why I'm here. And this is what I want to do, this is what I was meant to do,' [which is] to make, uh, medium music for people to enjoy," he laughed.
Despite the super-personal themes of Twelve Carat Toothache, you can hear the passion that Post regained in his voice and the album's sounds. "Cooped Up" with Roddy Ricch brings the spirit of the party back after staying at home for the last few years, and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" recalls his gift for simple, yet memorable hooks like his supernova 2018 hit "Rockstar."
He's Not Chasing His Next Hit
Five of the Hollywood's Bleeding singles landed in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, including two No. 1s. But as he put together Twelve Carat Toothache, Post didn’t feel the need to repeat that level of success.
"I've made a lot of compromises, especially musically, but now I don't feel like I want to anymore," he told Billboard. "I don't need a No. 1; that doesn't matter to me no more, and at a point, it did."
The album's first single, The Weekend-featuring "One Right Now," is arguably the most radio-friendly track — proven by its No. 6 peak on the Hot 100 — but the majority of the album's melodies aren't so straightforward. Perhaps that was intentional to help put the album's sensitive lyrics at the forefront, like the stripped-back "Lemon Tree" that sees Post exploring extreme loneliness ("Isolation is not good for me/Isolation, I don't want to/Sit on a lemon tree").
Duality Is An Important Theme On The Album
Post looks at various contrasts in Twelve Carat Toothache, starting with the butterfly and knife on the cover art — representing the beauty of pure art and the cutting nature of the music business. As he breaks free from making music that he may have felt pressured to make, Post's lyrical content still explores what it's like to be in both places.
The album also features a themed pair of songs that explore opposite emotions of love back to back: The Doja Cat collab "I Like You (A Happier Song)" followed by "I Cannot Be (A Sadder Song)," which features Gunna.
Alcohol Inspired Much Of The Album — But Differently Than You'd Think
Much of Twelve Carat Toothache touches on his mixed feelings about alcohol, most plainly on "Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol," a collaboration with Fleet Foxes. It serves as another representation of duality: "You're the reason why I got my ass kicked/But you're the only way to drown my sadness," he wails on the chorus.
Post talks about booze with self-deprecating humor on "Euthanasia," though it's still a fairly raw depiction of his relationship with going out. "Behold, a sober moment/ Too short, and far between," he sings on the second verse. "I should crack one open/ To celebrate bein' clean."
Psychedelics Helped His Songwriting Process
The album sounds cohesive as a whole, and that may be due in part to the fact that a lot of the core sounds were made in one go. After recording his other albums in the same small Hollywood studio, Post rented a house on the Pacific Coast to make Twelve Carat Toothache, he told Zane Lowe in an interview for Apple Music.
He revealed that spending time by the ocean — paired with some psilocybin-rich mushrooms, which he told Lowe removed his fears about creating music that reflected himself more — spawned a particularly productive session one night.
"It was 12 hours in Malibu that I sat by myself in this dark room with my laptop and just made beats," he said. "For 12 hours, did a bunch of shrooms, made beats and was like, 'Whoa, this is awesome!' That was the turning point and the album from there just wrote itself."
Combining that spark of inspiration with the ability to fully trust his intuition and let his true self shine through, Twelve Carat Toothache marks an audible step forward in Post Malone's artistic maturation.
GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw
On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.
In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.
Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year
Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration
Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the
The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at
"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community."
Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list.
At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in
After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.
In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.
Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized.
For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: The Recording Academy
Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Alexa Zaske
This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.
The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.
Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."
Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.
Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed.
Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.
My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.
For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.
(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)
Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam
Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images
Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs
Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards
As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.
Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.
"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."