31 Minutes to Takeoff

by: Mike Posner

When singer/songwriter/producer Mike Posner released his debut album, the B.A. in sociology he earned while attending Duke had only been hanging on the wall for a couple weeks, but thanks to the Internet, he was already a star. Anyone familiar with his genre-blending but mostly pop hit “Cooler Than Me” will find 31 Minutes to Takeoff a nice and comfy follow-up with just two surprises. First, there’s Posner’s occasional and irresponsible wickedness, best illustrated by the Jason Mraz-meets-Flo Rida number “Cheated,” where he calls out his ex-“whore” by using her full name. The better surprise is his heavy dose of talent that doesn’t necessarily dazzle but does charm, and is deep enough to keep things interesting for a whole album. A-list producers like Benny Blanco (the hip-hop-meets-trance “Please Don’t Go”), the Smeezingtons (the swaggering, porn guitar come-on called “Bow Chicka Wow Wow”), and Cisco Adler (the soulful highlight “Do U Wanna?”) bring on the polish, but Posner gets plenty of co-producer credits and the balance is always half dorm room, half major label. Add Boyz II Men sounding just fine on “Déjà Vu” and a bunch of bedroom room numbers that come off as Robin Thicke for the collegiate set and Posner’s entertaining debut is right in line with his reported Duke grade point average of B+. ~ David Jeffries

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