Mike Posner, upon his first chart outing, and whether he intended to or not, conformed to a long list of flash-in-the-pan popstars who like to discuss their ego and other such unimportant subject matters whilst the music did the hard work. Of course, some welcomed him, likening him to the new Calvin Harris, albeit with a grimier, dubstep meets hip-hop infused sound. Others turned their noses skyward at his tissue-thin voice and apparent self-importance. But the majority it seemed, bought his début single ‘Cooler Than Me’ based on the sole fact that little Cher Lloyd pet sung it – or at least, attempted to – on The X Factor, helping Mr. Posner leap his way up the UK chart to peak at a very tidy #5.
And sure, he emitted enough swagger to capsize a ship and most certainly had the beats to back it up, but a lot of people have already questioned his singing talents. His flimsy, transparent vocals appear so weak, especially when joined by a heavy beat, that once you’ve stripped away the studio processing and shine a light on his real voice, it’s so thin it barely even casts a shadow.
And now that he’s onto release number two, you do wonder where all that swagger has vanished to, because after a night of happily declaring that a certain snotty-nosed lady isn’t actually cooler than him with her “designer shades” and her “looking bored in them Dior’s”, it seems he’s a little less complacent in the morning. In fact, ol’ Mike’s gone all devoted and gushy.
“Let’s run away/From these lies/Back to yesterday”, he wheezes in the opening line of ‘Please Don’t Go’, accompanied by laid-back synths. At first, the song does seem like a complete contrast in not just the personality, but also the entire production we saw on his début single and has the credentials of being a fair attempt at a ballad. That is, if the chorus didn’t erupt onto a cacophonous jungle of synthesised bleeps and sonic trip-hop samples. At the start, Mike’s vocals sound distant, detached from the music as well as the listeners, as if caught in a world entirely his own, fancifully tripping about the girl in question as he repeats – “Baby, please don’t go, go/Go, go”. It’s an shrewd move as it certainly plays to his limited vocal ability’s advantage and snuggly fits within the song’s sentiments.
With regards to the production, everything seems to slot perfectly between euphoric and relaxing up until the chorus, where the whole thing becomes simply too cluttered. After this, Mike’s voice is once again lost in the swarm of electronic noises enveloping him as he feebly strains to finish the chorus.
Here’s the video: It’s one o’ them Portal-Phase videos…
The song’s intentions are obvious, and throughout the more sedated moments, Mike’s voice actually demonstrates the sentiments very well because in the context of this song, his voice could be said to be vulnerable rather than feeble, but once proceedings decide to go all out and ravey as the chorus kicks in, it’s hard to dig up any sentiment within the song’s plastic production and it becomes just another example of how the music carries the song and the lyrics are simply there to fill the gaps.
Rating: 3.0 STARS
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