Post Malone released the fourth single, “Circles,” from his upcoming album Hollywood Bleeding on Aug. 30, following in the footsteps of the wildly successful “Sunflower” and the regularly successful “Wow.” and “Goodbyes.” 

In many respects, “Circles” is the same old Post. His vocals are lovelorn, shot through with powerful vibrato. The chorus is an instant earworm, the type upon which Post built and maintained his fame. The structure is about as straightforward as it gets, and there’s not much in the way of experimentation or risk in any respect. 

However, Post makes some interesting departures from his traditional sound. The use of a bright round-string bass line (a great one, at that) as opposed to his typical electronic 808s is perhaps the most notable. The sonic palette as a whole seems to be heavily influenced by psychedelic pop (e.g. Currents), a sound that suits Post surprisingly well. 

“Circles” is profoundly catchy, tastefully upbeat and well-arranged. The bridge is on the weak side, a little too harmonically dependent upon the preceding section. Other than that, it’s hard to find any real problem with this song other than the fact that it plays it safe. I continue to be astounded by Post’s ability to churn out hit after hit — his sense of catchiness in melody is nonpareil in pop music today. Hopefully Hollywood Bleeding finds him continuing his hot streak. 

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