Album Review: Mike Posner opens up with ‘At Night, Alone.’

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At only 28 years of age, Mike Posner has lived quite the life. Back in 2010 he saw personal success after graduating from Duke University, with platinum selling singles “Cooler Than Me,” and “Please Don’t Go.” Following his success, Posner even found time to write songs for some of the worlds biggest acts including Justin Bieber (“Boyfriend”) and Maroon 5 (“Sugar”). Though, with massive success and the finer things in life, come the darker parts as well. Followups to Posner’s debut album (PagesSky High) didn’t take off or create even half of the buzz or success and were eventually shelved.

In 2015, Mike Posner released one of his most honest songs to date, “I Took A Pill In Ibiza,” which explained a lot of his life experiences over the past years. The stripped back tune features Posner singing about everything from a terrible experience with drugs, to feeling like a forgotten pop star of yesterday. Eventually a remix energized by SeeB transformed the relaxed song—into a mega EDM hit more suitable for radio—helping bring Posner back to the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10. To date it has become his highest charting single, peaking at number four.

A noticeable difference about Posner’s sophomore album, At Night, Alone.—when and how he wants listeners to hear the new body of work—is its a more striped down, minimalistic sound compared to his debut 31 Minutes To Takeoff. In his own words, “it’s me trying to do country and it comes out weird and different.” But if you enjoyed the electronic-R&B oriented vibes, fear not, you’re given six remixes of album cuts more in the vein of “Cooler Than Me.”

“Be As You Are” finds Mike listening to his mother’s words and accepting her advice. He sings her message, “You are stronger than you feel you are now…/everybody plays the fool sometimes/Just be as you are.” The family affair continues on “Buried In Detroit,” which features Big Sean on the Countryfied final track. Posner speaks about traveling across the world, and while he may have had awesome an journey, his final resting place will leave him buried right next to his father’s burial plot in his hometown Detroit. Relatable to anyone who has traveled the world but retains a strong connection to their own hometown and family.

A vulnerable side is expressed on “Not That Simple.” Posner gets reflective about a past relationship crooning, “but it’s not that simple/Type of misery/All these mixed up signals/In my head.” The album continues to reminisce in the past on the somber “Iris.” Here Posner sings about a relationship where he was he was more interested than his temporary lover, “When you smiled at me on that dance floor/It was the prettiest mask that you ever wore.”

If there is one thing Mike Posner wants you to know about him, it is that he’s one hell of a songwriter! On “One Hell Of A Song,” he proclaims he’s a shy simple artist, red carpets are not really his thing, but if there is one thing he certainly excels at, its writing a damn good song. “Yeah, I wrote this and it’s one hell of a song!” Did I mention? Much of the album is written and produced solely by Posner, himself!

It makes sense why Mike Posner wants listeners to experience his album, At Night, Alone. This way, you can truly dig into his experiences which may not be yours, but in some way there is a relatable moment he sings about. Island Records also utilized a unique technique by including many high quality remixes on the actual album, so that listeners not only get to hear the versatility of Mike Posner songs, but also grants listeners more music—without the additional cost! At Night, Alone. is a coming of age story where Mike Posner realizes its the simple things in life that matter most.

Rating:
85 / 97

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