Post Malone’s latest single, ‘Circles’, dropped on Friday, and although there are some recognisable moments – I’m a bit confused.
Posty has been riding a wave this summer with ‘Goodbyes’ being generally well-received and getting nominated for Song of Summer at the 2019 VMAs. ‘Goodbyes’ was softer Hip Hop, but still definitely Trap music. ‘Circles’ continues that softer approach, but none of the Trap grit is left in the final mix. The voice is still recognisable as Post Malone, but would I pick it out on the radio? Probably not – but I do suspect it will get decent radio play.
‘Circles’ is a catchy track – so catchy it has become a bit of an earworm. It features some very relatable lyrics about love going cold, doomed relationships and calls for someone to do something. It opens with a melodic acoustic guitar, and the layers are gradually added, but the electronic elements are relatively subtle and never overpower the track. It’s all very slick and accessible; no intimidating ‘bando’s’ in earshot.
‘Circles’ has definite mainstream cross-over appeal, and generally speaking, as a piece of popular music, it’s a decent track. But it’s also a far cry from ‘Congratulations’, ‘White Iverson’, and ‘Rockstar’ – all platinum-selling singles in case anyone was wondering. Hence the confusion. ‘Circles’ is a good single, but it’s not a good Post Malone single.
‘Circles’ is likely to open up new audiences to Post Malone – audiences who were less interested in Trap, but maybe like to dabble in alternative. It also creates a strong platform for the upcoming album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, set to be released in a few days. Just a word of caution, though. When artists switch genre, it’s easy to alienate the fanbase that got them there in the first place. You might get some new fans, but these new listeners are typically less reliable and loyal. Just ask Green Day and American Idiot.
I also can’t seem to shake the feeling that I’ve heard ‘Circles’ somewhere, but haven’t figured out where yet.
Final verdict: as a Post Malone single… 2.5/5