The time has come! Machine Gun Kelly has released his album, Mainstream Sellout. Previously titled ‘Born With Horns’, the sudden change in album name is perfect, considering this is Machine Gun Kelly’s second pop punk effort. Nothing is hits the mainstream harder than selling out to pop punk, right? Bummer that Machine Gun Kelly had Travis Barker tattoo the name ‘Born With Horns’ on his arm before the switch. Oops. So, let’s talk ‘album cover of the year’… is there an award category for that?
MGK uniquely has created different designs for each version of the Mainstream Sellout album. The digital version is so great, because it makes fun of all the people that hate him and is the basis of the album’s name: people feel like he’s ‘sold out’ to mainstream music, which is nothing further from the truth. This guy is so incredibly talented; he loves his fans and loves what he does. That’s why he’s comfortable making fun of people who don’t necessarily like him. More versions are the regular CD version (has there ever been a CD recall that was missing a song?), the cassette version and last, the box set edition, which can be purchased directly from MGK‘s website (although it’s sold out at this time).
All that said, let’s take a dive into some ‘Mainstream‘ goodness.
“born with horns” (what would’ve been the title track, but now just song number one) is a song that is pure pop punk — fast and fun. The opening lyrics are amazing: “Part one: why is it so hard to live? // Part two: I shouldn’t have done what I did // Part three: everyone left me alone // Part four: I don’t wanna live anymore.” I love this sentiment, as it’s a great introduction to the album. I feel like with the Mainstream Sellout Tour happening this year, this song is going to get people riled up for an epic performance when the lights go down and MGK takes the stage.
Song number two, “god save me”, surfaced a couple months ago, when a snippet of was played at the 27 Club — but, now we have the whole thing! This is one of my favorite songs on the album; I don’t wanna spoil this one, so I’ll just say this the lyrics are some of the best on the entire rundown and I wish it was one of the singles ahead of time.
“maybe”, featuring Bring Me The Horizon, comes next and was the third single before the album’s release. It is absolutely amazing: the song starts with some nice guitar and then we get a countdown “2-3-5″… Then the opening lyrics kick in: “Maybe, if I had something to say // Butterfly effect from the last three days // Now, maybe, if I had something to save // I used to have a soul, until I threw it away.” Pure perfection and having Oliver Sykes on it was the perfect collaboration for Machine Gun Kelly to do. This song will instantly be a fan-favorite at concerts, I’m sure.
And, the features don’t stop there.
Rapper Lil Wayne is on “drug dealer” next, a song presented in such a great way. The set up to the opening lyrics to Lil Wayne’s part… I love it all. I’m not even go into detail on this, just give this song a listen. It has easily become one of my favorites and I guarantee it will have a spot in your heart, as well. A “wall of fame” interlude follows, allowing a nice break from the music. Celebrities Megan Fox, Pete Davidson and Machine Gun Kelly are all laughing and talking about the ‘Wall of Fame’ in downtown Los Angeles and you can just tell MGK and Pete Davidson have a wonderful friendship.
The (real) title track comes after, aka my second favorite song on the album — another prime instance where Machine Gun Kelly calls out his haters. The opening lyrics say it all: “I heard the feedback // I’m a poser with a guitar and a choker // Hide under sunglasses // I made an album they hate the track list //Leave the scene you’re ruining it // You sold out and it makes me sick…” What a party song, followed by a little “make up sex”, where Machine gun Kelly and blackbear are back for round two. For those who don’t know, this song is the sequel to radio hit “my ex’s best friend” from MGK’s last album, Tickets To My Downfall. This track is amazing, I wish it was even longer.
“She’s got makeup by the mirror in her bedroom // Thigh high fishnets and some black boots,” sings MGK on the next track “emo girl”, featuring WILLOW. It’s a catchy song with an early 2000s feel to it. What’s not to love? “5150” (aka the police code for when you’re going offing CRAZY) is next. “Bruises don’t heal overnight // I’m a few sips from pulling the trigger // Self-abusive on the borderline of having you be my grave digger.” Woah. These opening lyrics are powerful. The way the guitar shines through this song makes listening to this song multiple times a must.
Towards the tail end of the album is “Papercuts” and this song is a banger.
It was the first taste of Mainstream Sellout (back when it was Born With Horns still), released as a single last year. There’s a surprise in “papercuts” for all the people who miss Machine Gun Kelly’s old rap style. Give it a listen and you’ll hear why. Next up is “WW4”, a fast tempo upbeat with pop punk sugar sprinkled all over it. Lil Wayne pops up again in “ay!”, a single that’s actually kind of silly at times. “fake love don’t last” caught me completely offguard I love Machine Gun Kelly’s and Iann Dior’s chemistry together; they make magic when ever they collaborate. Gunna and Young Thug help out on track 14, “die in california”, which is fun in parts although I just can’t get over the fact that Gunna and Young thug both sound so similar to each other. Also on the track is Landon Barker (Travis Barker’s son), who has a phenomenal voice and I hope to see him do more in the future! The song “sid & nancy” is obviously about Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Talk about one-sided, toxic relationships…
Last up on the album is “twin flame”, yet another song dedicated to fiancée Megan Fox. I say this because the interlude “Banyan Tree” off of Tickets To My Downfall was dedicated to her, as well. What a beautiful song to end the album. The opening lyrics just make you want to cry: “It’s been six days since the last time I saw your face // And, you asked my sign // I told you mine // I questioned why // And, you said everything’s aligned.” Soulmate status.
I can’t wait for the Deluxe Edition of this already great album! Mainstream Sellout is now available on all streaming outlets, so go listen! I have the time of my life whenever I listen to this album. I’ve also heard that Machine Gun Kelly is venturing back to rap on his next album, coming out this summer! I can’t wait — it’s gonna be a good one! Not only that, but Machine Gun Kelly has a movie coming out on May 20th titled Good Morning, set to be released by Open Road Pictures. I can’t wait to see what the movie brings… if you like comedy, this movie is right up your alley. The whole gang is in it: Mod Sun, Pete Davidson, Megan Fox. And, of course, everyone’s favorite hero — Machine Gun Kelly. It’s going to be hilarious. Watch it at home or in theaters!
Purchase or stream ‘Mainstream Sellout’ album:
- born with horns
- god save me
- maybe, feat. Bring Me The Horizon
- drug dealer, feat. Lil Wayne
- wall of fame – interlude
- mainstream sellout
- make up sex, feat. blackbear
- emo girl, feat. WILLOW
- ay!, feat. Lil Wayne
- fake love don’t last, feat. iann dior
- die in california, feat. Gunna, Young Thug & Landon Barker
- sid & nancy
- twin flame
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.