After taking home the award for Best Alternative Video for “bloody valentine” at this years MTV Video Music Awards, Machine Gun Kelly aims to keep his winning streak intact with the release of his fifth studio album Tickets to My Downfall, which was made available on September 25th via Bad Boy/Interscope Records.
A mention of pop-punk and the discography of bands like Blink 182, Green Day, and Sum 41 come rushing to the mind and brings back the feeling of nostalgia. It is no surprise that having worked with artists like Travis Barker and YUNGBLUD, the influence would be portrayed throughout Machine Gun Kelly’s latest album, Tickets To My Downfall.
It’s the modern take of the pop-punk genre that brings this album to life.
The album is very guitar-driven and this starts off with “title track,” narrating the story of MGK being in the limelight and the idea of having fair-weathered friends by his side. The realization of it all comes to an end in the chorus, as MGK takes us through how he copes with everything he’s going through.
Similar to other artists associated with him, the songs on the album are very emotionally driven. It is like listening to an audio version of a biography and one that many people can relate to. There is a lot more to the album than just alcohol and relationships.
“kiss kiss,” the second track off the album relates to his dependence on alcohol. Although this seems like a lonely place to be, the gang vocals in the chorus bring a sense of togetherness. The pressure of being young is depicted in “drunk face” while “bloody valentine” is an anthemic track that takes us through a relationship. The influence that a band like Blink 182 has had on MGK’s music is very noticeable on this track in particular, especially in the chorus, and his pronunciation of certain words such as “in my head.”
The first collaboration on the album is from Halsey on the track, “forget me too.” Her voice is pretty distinctive, as we see both Kelly and Halsey go back and forth sharing their story of a fiery relationship.
“all i know,” which is one of the shorter tracks from the album featuring Trippie Redd. Although it is pretty upbeat, lyrics like “but the person on the inside is crumbling” suggests otherwise. “lonely” then follows the journey of Kelly and how he feels now after losing his father. You can be in a room full of family and friends, but there will always be something missing. The song ends with a recording of Kelly’s dad explaining the birth of his son. A lot is tackled through this album already, but this track may be one that allows people to get to know him on another level.
MGK has gone through more than he can take and enough is enough. This shows in “WWIII.” Following a 1 minute 20-second facetime conversation between MGK and his friend Pete Davidson whilst high, this makes it onto the album in the form of Kevin And Barracuda interlude.
In a world that can be quite tough whether you’re a teenager or an adult, it is difficult when you feel like you still don’t fit in. “Whatever happened to a fairytale ending?” he asks himself in “concert for aliens.”
To mix things up a little, the collaboration of MGK and lighter vocals from blackbear on “my ex’s best friend” proves a more pop feel to the already heavily influenced pop-punk tracks. Following this are the anthemic tracks “jawbreaker” and “nothing inside” featuring iann dior. The all-too-short ‘banyan tree’ shows another change of direction, which introduces itself in the form of an acoustic guitar number featuring actress Megan Fox.
Maturely ending the album is “play this when I’m gone” which is an open letter to his loved ones on what they should do when it’s his time to go. A very emotional and touching piece of music that shows that Machine Gun Kelly is more than what meets the eye.
It’s the fact that MGK was able to confidently put out an album that proudly showcases his musical influences over the years. The whole album feels like it can be the soundtrack to a coming of age movie. If there was a way for Machine Gun Kelly to put out his thoughts and feelings, Tickets To My Downfall was the best way to do just that.