Published May 06, 2016It's been six years since singer-songwriter Mike Posner released him debut album, 31 Minutes to Takeoff, and if his followup, At Night, Alone., is any indication, that hiatus was one governed by soul searching and sonic reinvention.
For starters, Posner's sophomore opus finds him shedding his past hip-hop influences for a folk-pop sound, with chart-topper "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" as a prime example. Wearing the hats of singer, writer and producer, AN,A. is sonically coherent throughout, with Posner's acoustic guitar and piano arrangements taking the forefront.
With Posner pouring his heart out on nearly every track, "Ibiza" is easily the lightest of the bunch. He details his years-long journey to self-acceptance ("Be As You Are"), laments a relationship quickly going south ("Silence") and vows to end his journey where it started: his native Detroit ("Buried in Detroit"). Posner's folk influences are most evident in his stripped-down writing style; on the latter track, he states that "I like my songs how I like my women / honest and to the point."
Posner's sound, though matured, isn't breaking any new ground musically. Bearing your soul and maintaining sonic continuity are paramount prerequisites to success in his new genre, but his acoustic tendencies fail to separate him from the Ed Sheerans of the world, or folk musicians of yore. And yet, that feel unimportant here; At Night, Alone. finds Posner staying true to himself and flexing his strengths, and the results are moving. (Island)