I am certainly not alone when I say that I was shocked when I saw Mike Posner back on the charts again when “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” came out. As a middle schooler, I thought “Cooler Than Me” was great song, and then I grew up and like most songs I liked in middle school, I realize now that it was trash. So it was shocking that now, I am sitting in my college dorm listening to him again, and that he has actually improved quite a bit.
I did later realize that the version of “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” that I had been enjoying so much was a remix by a group called Seeb who I had never heard of. The original, like many of the songs on the first part of this album, is actually a mellower acoustic song. While I was not crazy about this original version, I was still open to giving this record a chance.
One thing that is interesting about At Night, Alone, is that it features a handful of remixes, including Seeb’s track, which usually is reserved for bonus editions. Before I talk about those, I think it be wise to talk about the first 12 songs, which I think Posner intended to be the entire album.
First, I think this is the least I have had to look into a record in order to review it. The lyrics in these songs are all very straightforward, meaning there is really no deep thought into analyzing what Posner has written. To be fair, the content is not bad, we get songs dealing with fame and becoming forgotten by most casual music listeners. Similarly to the themes of “I Took A Pill in Ibiza.”
While on that song, the acoustic of this really does not work to me. While the lyrics are not bad, necessarily, they certainly are nothing special. I love the subject matter, seeing the aftermath of someone who is a one hit wonder, and it is easy to feel for Posner, who has dealt with his fair share of emotional issues over the years.
These themes that carry on to show how Posner’s fame has hurt his relationships with people in his life. While many people singing about this stuff come across as insincere and whiny, Posner does a good job of emoting and showing he is genuine about what he is singing about. “Be as You Are” does this especially well, showing Posner breaking down to his mother, clearly in need of advice.
Posner also is not afraid to take risks with his vocals like on the song “Silence” where he hits a falsetto for this chorus, seemingly screaming some decent lyrics like “you hold your halo up with horns.” Labyrinth’s verse on here is also solid and adds a nice presence to the track. The song “Only God Knows” which is an acapella track which echoes as if recorded in an auditorium. The sound is very personal and the lyrics are especially poetic here.
The last three songs are probably the weakest on here. “Jade” has Posner’s voice muffled with some kind of vocal filter and differs in content, discussing a girl Posner is involved with. It reminds me of the Posner songs that he used to make that nobody liked so I am shocked it made it on here. “One Hell of a Song” is just Posner boasting about how far he has made it writing great songs for artists like Justin Bieber and Jay-Z. Maybe it is because a lot of the songs Posner is credited for writing are pretty bad, but this song was pretty lousy to me and took me out of the emotional investment I was having. I will give “Buried in Detroit” credit for being the best of the three, talking about how no matter where Posner tours he will be buried at home, but it is just nothing new to me and not exciting in anyway.
Onto the remixes, I was amazed with how much better these songs were than the originals. Many people who are very traditional in their music tastes will say that electronic remixes take away from the original. Most of the time I will say they are right, but in this case I think these sounds only enhance the content. It enhances it so much I think that if this album was all like the remixes it be getting a much better rating.
Just looking at Seeb’s “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” remix, it works so much better than the original because it fits the tone better. Why would a song about popping pills and partying excessively not sound like something that puts you in the scene? This remix makes you understand the place Posner is coming from so much and it increases the quality of the track dramatically.
This is two-thirds of an inoffensive singer/songwriter album like something you would get from Jason Mraz or John Mayer, and one-third something that could have made for an exciting electronic album. I cannot say this is bad, especially since it comes from a personal place for Posner, but it is a missed opportunity that tried like hell to redeem itself.
Best Tracks: Be as You Are, Silence, Only God Knows, All of the Remixes
Worst Track: One Hell of a Song