Liner Note Author: Mike Posner.
Photographer: Meredith Truax.
Five years without a follow-up to his flippant hit "Cooler Than Me" and pop-rapper Mike Posner might have just as well said "f*ck it" and thrown himself on the pop culture scrap pile, which he sort of did. With his simple and sparse 2016 single "I Took a Pill in Ibiza," he at least offered himself up to the scrap pile with lyrics like "You don't ever wanna step off that roller coaster and be all alone," or better still, "'Cause my name's a reminder of a pop song people forgot," but the wry fella also kicks this hummable ditty off his with his pill-popping reasons, "To show Avicii I was cool." Once "But f*ck it, it was something to do" rolls around, he's cooler than me, cooler than you, cooler than Kanye, and cooler than whomever, at least for the moment. Oddly enough, the man who looked to be the next Mac Miller or Asher Roth looks to be the next Rufus Wainwright by the time the anthemic "Buried in Detroit" appears, and in the middle of this LP there's clever power pop ("Jade"), empowering anthems somewhere between Sia and Alicia Keyes ("In the Arms of a Stranger"), and show-stopping R&B that's Legend and Timberlake twisted into one fellow named Posner ("Silence"). All this genre jumping is done with its heart in the right place, and the songwriting is as sincere as can be, but the self-referential stuff and time-off since his last hit comes up once too often, and the intro and outro of the album come right from Posner's laptop microphone, which is precious to a fault. Still, this wide-reaching, sweet-hearted, and surprisingly hip talent is either a Bieber to believe in, or Eminem and Ellen Degeneres' kid who graduated from that school in Fame. This might not yet be the ultimate showcase for his talents, but At Night, Alone is both a welcome return and a significant step forward. ~ David Jeffries