After releasing a few mixtapes last year, recent Duke University graduate Mike Posner just released his major-label debut, 31 Minutes to Takeoff.
The album’s promotion began promisingly enough, with lead single “Cooler Than Me” becoming one of the biggest hits of the summer. Takeoff follows through on the single’s catchy electropop sounds, providing 12 tracks of irresistable ear candy. Posner, who handles production duties on most of the album’s tracks, proves to be a capable producer.
As a songwriter, though, Posner falls into a particularly nasty problem. Posner and his record label have frequently promoted Posner as a Duke frat boy, and his lyrics take on a sadly stereotypical frat boy stance toward women. “Cheated,” for example, features this gem of a chorus: “I should’ve cheated on you / I was everything you wanted and more / I should’ve cheated on you / Nobody told me I was dating a whore.” The song is made more grotesque by a specific naming of the lyrical target.
Overall, Posner shows some promise with his album. In particular, “Please Don’t Go” and “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” are potential hit singles. His vocals are similar to, but thinner than, Justin Timberlake’s. If he can get past the lyrical issues, he could stand a shot at a decently successful career.