With an unknowing precedent time, musicians have been able to give their fans more content then anyone would have expected. As of September 24, 2020, Machine Gun Kelly provided just that with a 15 track record titled Tickets To My Downfall. With the executive producer being Travis Barker be prepared to instantly hear the drumming with his name written all over them.
The first track on the record is “Title Track” and it begins with the acclaimed portrayal of being someone that another wants but only when the timing fits the latter. The first verse says: “I saw friends in the front row/ They’ll leave when I’m finished/ And the light in my name’s gone/ ‘Cause the ones who gas you up/ Only come around when the flame’s on” and right off the bat it signifies that exact portrayal. There are those that only want you for the moment but when the moment is over, your downfall begins and MGK just sold us tickets to that.
The thematics of a downfall continue on throughout “Kiss, Kiss” when the underlying mentions of being glued to a bottle and “Drunk Face” being stuck on the past that includes every Kryptonite that MGK could recount. When you spiral down, those around you expect that your system is once again entangled with what it once knew.
The next track is “Bloody Valentine” which would have everyone reminiscing on what it feels like to bop our heads, circle pit with sweaty strangers and catching others diving off the stage as we all angrily finger point at whichever system we have playing this song on blast. This was one of the first tracks that everyone heard from this new MGK era and no one knew what to expect but stuck around because this track was just pure gold.
“Forget Me” feat. Halsey has me wondering when Halsey will be releasing her own pop punk record. Her vocals radiated the moment she came onto the track. This was one of the songs that had me jumping around my living room and angrily pointing at my dogs that were watching from afar. Listen to this song, close your eyes and suddenly you’re back in the show scene living out a pop punk dream of being in a sweaty room with beer soaked floors.
Up next is “All I Know” feat Trippie Redd which brings in the feeling of the track that MGK did with Sleeping With Sirens titled “Alone”. It contains the essence of wanting more than what there already is. Right after that is the seventh track of the record, “Lonely” is the sad pop punk track that every good record needs and MGK provided just that. It’s sad enough to where it strikes a chord at your heartstrings but also has your finger pointing and resonating with every single word. It could arguably be put side by side to “Floral Glass” by the Australian band Between You & Me but from their respected perspectives.
“WWIII” has the classic Blink-182 vibe that we have all come to know and with Travis Barker as an exec. producer, it was bound to happen that his musical stylistics would enter into the record. This record contains a lot of early influences and a handful of features but it was only right to insert MGK’s best friend Pete Davidson into the “Kevin and Barracuda Interlude”. The interlude brings in the concept of leaving earth and it goes straight into the next song. “Concert for Aliens” is a track that goes back to the thematics of being in a downfall and in the song MGK continually says “SOS” which allows the listener to know that this is one the moments in where a moment of life is falling and everyone around is standing by and watching and will eventually leave. That notion ties it back to the “Title Track”.
The eleventh track is the one that everyone heard and instantly knew that this record was going to be everything we ever needed from MGK. “My Ex’s Best Friend” features Blackbear and they’re a duo that instantly captured everyone's attention and came to terms that MGK was about to give us one of the best pop punk records out there.
“Jawbreaker” could very well be in the soundtrack in a coming of age movie of some sorts. It’s definitely one that you use a hairbrush as a microphone and sing at the top of your lungs. Which could also be said the same for “Nothing Inside” featuring Iann Dior. It’s a song that I vividly pictured being played during the homecoming scene in the movie Sleepover that stared Alexa PenaVega and very well could have come straight out of the early 2000’s.
“Banyan Tree Interlude” is one that made me stop and actually listen to it because of the pure rawness and love that exuded from it. The line “If the world was coming to an end/ I don’t wanna close my eyes without/ Feeling like I lived” exuded the rawness that I felt while listening to the interlude.
The interlude goes straight into track 15, “Play This When I’m Gone”. This track plays off of the last line in “Banyan Tree Interlude”. The feeling of not wanting to leave this world without feeling like he’s lived and sometimes finding the one and feeling the immense love and care for one is the feeling of having lived. In Greek mythology there is the myth of soulmates where humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces but with fear of power, they were split into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other half. When the other half is presumably found, it feels like everything is okay and there’s no more downfall and our lives have been lived. With this song being about MGK’s daughter, it makes sense that the one he loves the most is his own person. If the downfall was to catch up to MGK, this song would be played for his daughter and it brings the record full circle and to an end.
Tickets To My Downfall by Machine Gun Kelly is a pure raw pop punk record that we all needed to hear from him. Each track contains its own story that eventually goes back to the thematics of the record as a whole. After listening to it all the way, I would highly recommend this record to anyone that asked about it. So, go ahead and stream it now on any music listening platform you prefer.