On the Record: “31 Minutes to Takeoff” by Mike Posner

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September 17, 2010

12:54 PM

Recent college grad Mike Posner’s new album “31 Minutes to Takeoff” showcases his two singles, “Cooler than Me” and “Please Don’t Go,” while also experimenting with different sounds. Although the album is a solid first attempt, those who buy it expecting to find tracks more like those two singles may end up disappointed.

This pop album shows occasional flashes of hip-hop and R & B influences, especially in the beginning with songs such as “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” and “Déjà Vu.” The problem with this is that hip-hop and R & B are styles that rely on the artist’s voice, and Posner’s voice is not his strong suit. His voice sounds raspy and thin, which works in most songs, and without a beat to back it up, it often sounds out of place. The first couple songs leave much to be desired.

Even the lyrics of these first few songs are sub-par. In “Cheated” he laments, over and over, about how he “should’ve cheated on you/ nobody told me I was dating a whore.” The edge and honesty of this song almost leaves the listener with an unsettling feeling. The same sort of lyrics is heard throughout the album as Posner sings of love – both lost and gained. Although honest, the songs fail to evoke any real emotions, and the listener feels – at best – awkward as he or she listens to Posner’s lyrics.

Later in the album however, Posner hits his stride with songs such as “Gone in September” and “Synthesizer.” While these songs have a different sound than his popular singles, they still have the same synthesized beats and catchy lyrics, just paced at a much slower tempo. With Posner’s voice not at the forefront, his songs are easy listening.

After a couple of listens however, the songs on this album start to catch on; and yet, if you are looking for the same sound as Posner’s two singles, this album may not be for you. While a good start for Posner, “31 Minutes to Takeoff” simply does not take off.

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