Mike Posner | A Real Good Kid | Album Review

Islands Records
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Two years since the release of his second album, At Night, Alone, Detroit artist Mike Posner released his third studio album, A Real Good Kid.

Unlike the upbeat, fast-tempo electronic hip-hop of his previous work, such as “Cooler Than Me” and “Please Don’t Go,” Posner delves into his recent past, setting a melancholy tone for the entirety of the album.

A Real Good Kid stresses the events that occurred in his life in the past three years. From the death of his father, to mistakes with friends, family, and the passing of his friend Avicii, Posner creates a gloomy atmospheric presence, using his music as an introspective look into his life.

The album’s first track, titled “Introduction,” is not a song but a mere list of instructions advising the audiences’ devotion to the music. “The album is 40 minutes long,” Posner states in the first track, “it’s meant to be listened to in one sitting, straight through.” He asks this of his listeners because the subject matter is important to him, considering that the music that he has produced is telling the story of his tragedies.

Usually sad songs reflect a slow, low-tempo tone and melody. Posner takes a different approach, using a variety of instruments and a mash-up of genres to get his messages through. For example, the song “Drip” starts with subtle strumming guitar, only to later fluently transition into a hardcore mash of electronic beats and keys. Then halfway through, the song transitions back, relying on an acoustic guitar as he tells the story of Avicii. The song “Wide Open” follows the same approach, opening with guitar playing and transitioning to an electronic mood.

The strength of the album is the way it reminisces tragedy and loss. Mike Posner’s pain and suffering are felt in every song and in each lyric. As a result, he creates heartfelt emotion, producing beauty from his deeply painful experiences.

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