I’ve been a fan of Machine Gun Kelly Since his debut album Lace Up. His rap always hit for me but, in a way, there was something missing. With the release of Hotel Diablo last year and one of my all time favorite songs “I Think I’m OKAY” he confirmed my suspicion. There, on a song with the father of pop punk Travis Barker and the greatest example of gen z punk Yungblud, I saw the real MGK. There’s been hints of it in the past, like his work with Sleeping With Sirens, but this was definitive. MGK’s an emo kid. He’s a punker. He taught himself how to play guitar and traded in a DJ for a band, even started playing his live music more like rock and their official rap sound. After that, I felt the same about MGK that I do Halsey, I love what they do but I need them to go punk. I need to hear a MGK album for the mosh pit. Then, last fall, he promised a pop punk album for 2020, and yesterday, he delivered!
Tickets To My Downfall is a masterpiece. I love almost every song, and the only one I don’t love, I still like! I was so scared that “Bloody Valentine” might have been the best song but thankfully this album is a complete collection of wonderful music with a mix of different punk tones and influences, and real emotions as well as simple fun ragers. I love his silly skit with Pete Davidson, the interlude where Megan talks about how much she loves him, and I cry every time I hear “lonely”. I’m so grateful that Travis Barker produced this record because I can feel his influence in every moment. It’s not overpowering, it doesn’t take away from MGK’s moment, but rather shines a very beautiful spotlight on it. This is one of those rare albums that feels nearly unskippable. Unless I want to hear something specific I can listen to this album from beginning to end blissfully. I can’t wait for tours to start up again because all I want now is to go insane with my friends in a mosh pit to this album.
My favorite song on the album is without a doubt “forget me too” with Halsey. Halsey is my favorite lady in mainstream music and considering the history and friendship she’s always had with Machine Gun Kelly, I can’t even begin to explain how long I’ve waited and how badly I’ve wanted this collab. But this? I can’t even begin to explain how perfect this particular song turned out to be. We so easily could have gotten another “Bad Things” or “Him & I” but instead we got a kickass punk rager about sticking it to shit people and moving on with your life. We got a declaration of independence that we can mosh to. It’s absolutely perfect! Every Halsey fan I know is craving punk Halsey, and if this song is any indicator, we might get that for this next album. So thank you Machine Gun Kelly!
Now I will say, this album doesn’t do anything especially groundbreaking for punk music, but it’s not supposed to. That’s not the point here at all. this album isn’t Tony Hawk showing off a new trick, it’s seeing the kid who just started skating last year pull of something unexpected for a beginner. It’s the best, biggest step in the right direction for a artist whose been holding back this side of himself for years. It’s the second best album of 2020 (second only to Mac Miller’s final album) and I’ll be blasting it on repeat for the weekend and probably next week!