Highlights: Mansionz, ‘Mansionz’


★★★★ 

Manzions © IslandMansionz, comprised of Mike Posner and blackbear, releases an incredible, ambitious debut album, fittingly titled, ‘Mansionz.’

What happens when two underappreciated, incredibly talented musicians collaborate together? Fire.  Mike Posner and blackbear collaborate as mansionz, an eclectic group formed in 2016 encompassing hip-hop, pop, and R&B.  Their self-titled debut materializes in 2017, and it is a sight to behold. Mansionz likely won’t get its just due, much like the two musicians who created it, but it’s a project more people should be talking about, period.

“My Beloved”

“My Beloved” gets mansionz off to a quick start. The first sign that “My Beloved” is hot is the sample of David Lang’s “Just (After Songs of Songs).”  Beyond the allure of the music itself, Mike Posner and blackbear are on autopilot. Posner is reliant on sex as opposed to emotional depth on the first verse:

“I never wanted to own you, just your neck / Just your good needs, just your two breasts / Just the good parts of you and your perfume, baby / Don’t ask the sun to shine more like the moon, baby.”

The chorus is catchy as albeit, sung by blackbear:

“Just your neck, just your couch / Just your perfume, and my beloved / And your wrists, just my couch / And my love.”

Blackbear gets two of his own verses, with the physical versus emotional trend continuing on.

“STFU”

“STFU” featuring Spark Master Tape served as the promo single for the album back in 2016. The acronym means just what you think – shut the f*ck up.  Charming.  As blunt as it is, “STFU” fits the modern R&B vibe where being profane is what’s trending. Blackbear takes on the more chill role, much like he did on “My Beloved,” singing in relaxed fashion.  As for Posner, he embraces his inner hip-hop once more, pop-rapping in maddening, rhythmic fashion.  Spark Master Tape provides a lift on the fourth and final verse. His vocals are pitch-shifted.

“Dennis Rodman” appropriately features Dennis Rodman, who provides the outro for the track. The track embodies spirit of the flamboyant former NBA star.  The bigger picture is the fact that it embraces being free spirited. 

“I’m thinking about horses” is epic. Posner is in full-fledged reflective mode, speaking about God, love, sex, and death.  A poem as opposed to a vocal performance or rap, Posner truly seems to question life itself. 

“Wicked”

“Wicked,” featuring G-Eazy, ranks among the grooviest joints from Mansionz.  The chorus is irresistible, even if it’s sentiment is oversimplified:

“She’s f*cking wicked / But I love the way she hurts me / I’m so addicted to her loving / That girl is vicious…”

As always, G-Eazy is in his lane.

“Rich White Girls” is infectious from a first listen. Blackbear nails the chill, yet blunt chorus, which ranks among the crème de la crème of Mansionz.

“Rich white girls / All I’m doing is wasting my time chasing rich white girls, yeah / All they do is bitch and they whine / So tell me what could I give you that your daddy can’t give you?” 

“White Linen”

“White Linen” keeps the hits rolling along. CyHi the Prince delivers a stellar verse over folk-pop production – and unlikely combination.  Following the verse, Mike Posner delivers a beautiful, smooth vocal on the chorus. Blackbear  gets the benefit of hard hip-hop drums giving “White Linen” more toughness. Closer “The Life of a Troubadour” is arguably the most creative, ambitious record.  It concludes the album epically, assisted by Snoozegod.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, mansionz ends up being a stellar album.  Mike Posner and blackbear have assembled a superb project, worthy of wider recognition than it’ll likely receive.  Even if mansionz overexerts itself sexually and profanely, the two bros never miss the mark here.  Don’t sleep on mansionz.

Gems: “My Beloved,” “STFU,” “Dennis Rodman,” “Wicked,” “Rich White Girls” & “White Linen”  

 Mansionz • Mansionz • Island • Release: 3.24.17
Photo Credit: Island
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