12 August, 2010@11:14 pm
It’s kind of hard to believe that one of today’s biggest new voices in pop music used to be an intern for Def Jux. That, and he loves Little Brother. We can only imagine – was Mike Posner bouncing around the Jux offices in 2005, filling orders for Cannibal Ox t-shirts whilst singing the lyrics to the Foreign Exchange album blasting out of his Ipod headphones? Was El-P sneering at him, but letting it go because he was such a hard worker? Who knows, but knowing this about him says he can’t be such a bad guy.
You’ve probably heard Mike’s infectious lead single by now, “Cooler Than Me”, which finds the uniquely high, raspy voiced vocalist pouring his heart out to a nose-in-the-air diva for one of the most memorable debut songs this year. Much of Posner’s 31 Minutes To Takeoff is in the same vein, as his mellow rasp gives him sort of a Snoop Dogg-meets-Young Jeezy drawl as he sings his vocals. And like the lead single, he certainly hits the mark on several places on the album, packing in a whole host of potential follow up singles. The cheeky “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” is an equally catchy bedroom banger, while “Cheated” finds him wallowing in regrets from a relationship gone sour.
At 22, Posner has the right formula for success, but still has some maturing to do. Not to say that anything he is doing here is particularly bad or even offensive, but there are a handful of so-so moments that drag the album into mediocre territory. The blase’ “Gone In September” just kind of plods along, while “Save Your Goodbyes” lays the obsessiveness on just a little too thick. Meanwhile the cheesy “Synthesizer” is a loose-knit narrative comparing women to….. keyboards? And we thought J.T.’s “Carry Out” was bad.
Speaking of Timberlake, he too had some shaky beginnings, which eventually manifested themselves into the fully matured pop classic Futuresex-Lovesounds. But Posner’s future seems less likely to go after Timbaland beats and choreographed dance movies, and more to carry on the tradition of smoothness found on records from John Legend – and truthfully, better production is probably all it would take. While 31 Minutes To Takeoff doesn’t quite achieve this as an album, we’re sure he’s got a couple of singles herein that will insure his place in the stratosphere.
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