Mike Posner • The Truth (EP) • Island • US Release Date: June 22, 2015
On The Truth (EP), chameleonic musician Mike Posner repositions himself as a singer/songwriter – quite a departure from his debut pop album 31 Minutes To Takeoff, which seems like an eternity ago (2010). Posner possesses such a distinct voice it’s not far-fetched that he has more flexibility than some contemporary musicians. While The Truth has nothing that will supersede the success Posner experienced on “Cooler Than Me,” it definitely shows something we haven’t seen from Posner. As they say, “honesty is the best policy,” and Posner is blatantly honest throughout The Truth – he never lies.
So what’s Posner got on The Truth? Well “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” is a sensational start, which commences with a bang: “I took a pill in Ibiza / to show Avicii I was cool / and when I finally got sober, felt 10 years older / but f**k it, it was something to do.” If depicting irresponsibility is Posner’s modus operandi in verse one, verse two finds Posner in a worse spot – his plight as a ‘washed up’ musician and his inability to settle down. Ultimately on the chorus, Posner advises against living his life because ultimately, “You don’t wanna be high like me…all I know are sad songs.” “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” definitely is more realistic than “Cooler Than Me” by a mile.
“Buried In Detroit” is a moving, lush ballad that truly allows for Posner’s distinct pipes to shine. The minute you hear it, it reminds you of a modern spin on Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” at least in sensibility. Even though Posner has a serious tone throughout “Buried in Detroit,” he allows for some ‘comic relief’ honesty with lyrics like “You see I got f**ked up in Stockholm,” but follows with the memorable hook, “But I’ll be buried in Detroit.”
Love becomes the focus on “Not That Simple,” where the tried-and-true breakup and the aftermath are conveyed. Even though it’s ended, Posner can’t get over her: “But’s it’s not that simple / type of misery…I still hear these echoes / of when you love me / but now you’re just someone in my mind / that used to be mine.” Ultimately, “Not That Simple” is mix between pop and blue-eyed soul, particularly at the end where the background vocals enter the picture.
“Be As You Are” concludes The Truth enjoyably and respectably. ‘The truth’ in this instance seems to be the honesty of Posner’s mom: “There are moments when you fall to the ground…you don’t always have to speak so loud, no be as you are” or in a later variant “It doesn’t matter if you become some star / life is better when you open your heart / you don’t always have to act so hard, no be as you are.” “Be As You Are” is the obligatory ‘inspirational’ joint, and while such songs can have the tendency to be sappy, Posner’s honesty and authentic vocals make it worthwhile.
All in all, Posner has delivered a compelling four-song EP that people will sleep on, but shouldn’t. All four songs are enjoyable and a true testament to Posner’s talents. 27-year old Posner is much wiser than his younger self.
Favorites: “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” and “Buried Detroit”