Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets to My Downfall (Album Review)

American Rapper Machine Gun Kelly aka MGK, has been in the game for since his early days releasing the mixtape Stamp of Approval in 2006. Making his way into the spotlight back in 2012 with his debut album Lace Up, it has been a steady rise to the top for the artists since – releasing General Admission in 2015, Bloom in 2017, and Hotel Diablo in 2019.

Proving he is versatile, he has even found success as an actor, putting on shining performance as Tommy Lee in 2019 Mötley Crüe biographical, The Dirt. Speaking of Rock-n-Roll, the star is now turning heads yet again with his exploration into the Pop Punk Rock world on his new album Tickets to My Downfall.

His fifth overall studio album, Tickets to My Downfall was initially released on Friday, September 25th, but a mere four days later, on the 29th, Interscope Records released a deluxe edition with six additional songs. While the standard album lasts for almost forty minutes, this deluxe version lasts a whole fifty-four minutes… and it is worth every second! 

Now, the reinvention of Machine Gun Kelly might turn off some, however if they really gave it a chance, they might like what they hear. For this album he has shed his Hip Hop sound for a more emo leaning Pop Punk sound, and yes, it actually works. There are several reasons it works too. For one, say what you want about this guy, he is extremely talented. Additionally, he is a strong songwriter and when it comes to any genre of music, the songs have to hold weight.

This is certainly the case with Ticket to My Downfall because the songs within the lines of it all come across quite personal and touching. There is a sincerity in the approach as well which make the songs that much more effective. It all starts with a more Hip Hop opening title-track which quickly ships to Pop Punk bliss. Now, this is not to say the Hip Hop tendencies are completely left in the dust, because they do show up subtly here and there, but there is absolutely more a focus on the creation of strong Rock-n-Roll arrangements here. For example, “Forget Me Too,” featuring Halsey, is one hell of a catchy Rock cut. This is while the single “Bloody Valentine” has an inviting quality you cannot deny. Later on, the deluxe album features killer songs such as “Body Bag” with guest spots from Yungblud and Bert McCracken of The Used plus chant along “Hangover Cure.” If that were not enough, the bonus songs also include a lively cover of Paramore’s “Misery Business,” the defiant “Can’t Look Back,” and a beautiful acoustic rendition of “Bloody Valentine.” 

And yet there is still more compelling aspects to Machine Gun Kelly’s latest adventure, which include a slew of well selected collaborations. These highlights include “All I Know” with Trippie Red, the angsty “My Ex’s Best Friend” with Blackbear, as well as “Nothing Inside,” with Iann Dior. 

Overall, this is an album that is fun to listen to – from the catchy arrangements and choruses to the amusing interludes. In many ways it takes you back to earlier days of Pop Punk when it was still quite fresh.  Furthermore, each song tells a story that is real and relatable. Whether you decide to go with the standard edition of the, the Target edition, or the latest deluxe edition, you will have a blast. A wonderful, surprising listen, Cryptic Rock gives Tickets to My Downfall 5 out of 5 stars.

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