Machine Gun Kelly’s Love of Punk Lets Loose in Turn of Genres with ‘Tickets To My Downfall’
My label hates that I’m like thisMachine Gun Kelly, all I know, Tickets To My Downfall, 2020
I gotta go through shit to keep writin'”
Tickets To My Downfall couldn’t have been my debut album because people wanted to see… I had to get to a certain height to then decline and crash, and people are aware of this height that I’m at, and they don’t want to see it rise anymore; they want to see it crash. There had to have been a journey for people to care about to still be tuned into, to then see destroyed.”Machine Gun Kelly, 2020
Ever since his claim to fame in 2011, that seemed to be well within the elements of the rap game, Machine Gun Kelly, also known as, Colson Baker, has always been delivering fast, rippling lyrics that ultimately accompany a rap backbeat, right?
But ever since the rappers’ career-ruining clash with Eminem a year later, to Hotel Diablo‘s surprise track of ‘I Think I’m OKAY’, MGK has soon been morphing his style into an emphatic and driving emo-rock sound; that even managed to turn the head of pop-punk producing-guru Travis Barker to clamber aboard.
With the initial release, Concert For Aliens, in anticipation for his upcoming album in a similar style, it soon became apparent exactly what genre MGK loved making. And we bloody love him for it.
Making Blink music that even Blink aren’t making, this album is an utterly sanctimonious achievement – not only to the extent of seeing MGK’s musical talent in full force – but also delivers an empowering message to those who lost faith in pop-punk – especially after Blink’s latest release of NINE.
In an effort to keep pop-punk alive, it seems like they’ve managed to achieve such a near-impossible feat, allowing the genre to stay on fans’ lips a little longer.
The Track Listing
The album delivers impactful messages in blistering bullets of madness from Travis and Kelly, that draws on similar concepts that we’ve seen from them both before.
From tellings within the lyrics, it, it delivers moments of anger, regret, (“You’re the reason I punched a hole in the wall back home”, forget me too), mental illness, (“If I’m a painter, I’d be a depressionist”, title track) while also delivering moments that make you sit back and think a little harder about it all, (“If you ever feel alone/You’re gonna cry and baby/that’s alright, it’s alright,” play this when I’m gone.)
Key tracks within the album feature ‘Title Track,’ – the perfect intro to introducing us to erratic side of MGK’s drawing board of music – ‘Bloody Valentine’ – the pre-released single that amped the excitement of the album more-so, with its oh-so infectious and raucous chorus which Barker plays his part well with piercing hi-hat wallops present.
Then, of course, ‘forget me too’ – one of my most favoured tracks on the album, a blistering piece that you can barely keep up with, with a splendid Halsey cameo that works so well.
The moment in the bridge is a sweet compassion between Halsey and Kelly before it is once again brought up to the ultimate turbulent final chorus that always puts such a huge grin on my face.
One of the strongest segments in the album, without a doubt.
Then, you have the surprise contender of ‘nothing inside’ that brings displeasure of lost love from past romances, (‘I did this all for you, look what I turned into/She looked dead into my eyes and she saw nothing inside’) with Iann Dior being added to the list of cameos within the album.
Even though this album has taken a drastic turn from his usual repertoire, the sheer quality and rawness delivered here, sound like MGK has been doing this type of music his whole career. Trap beats and hip-hop favourites Trippie Red and blackbear featuring on the album, seem to be little nods to his original rapping style that he started out with – but you can certainly tell he loves his new look.