It’s been six years since Mike Posner released his debut album in 2010. In the time since, there have been singles and EPs, cancelled albums, and a period in which he took a break from music after coping with his sudden fame didn’t go all that well. At Night, Alone marks his second full length studio album, and in a lot of ways this album was worth the wait. In several of the tracks, you can definitely tell that Posner is spilling his guts into this music, and when he does, he’s at his best.
The album begins with a quick message to inform you, the listener, that it is best listened to while alone at night (thus the album name), but that wasn’t something I was able to do with my listening format. Regardless, there are tracks on this album that feel very emotionally raw. Very self realized. It is obvious, often painfully so, that he is working through the last six years of his life through these songs. It kicks off with I Took A Pill In Ibiza, the original version that, for my money, is significantly more powerful than the SeeB remix, and stretches all the way through to the Iris, the seventh track. That stretch of six songs is fantastic, especially the first half. Posner’s voice revels in it’s unique sound, the music is catchy but poignant, and the instrumentation is pretty much spot on. It lays off when it needs to, hits you when it needs to, and nothing feels stretched or out of place.
After that, however, things start to slip. It begins with God Only Knows, which almost sounds like an Irish folk/drinking song. It isn’t a bad track, but it marks the turning point, because what follows are a handful of relatively pedestrian songs that just didn’t work, especially in comparison to how the album started. The lyrical phrasing is uninspired, the lyrics themselves start to dip into the shallow end of the pool. It honestly feels like he had to write two or three more songs to fill the track list because he didn’t have enough material in the bag.
Essentially, this is two thirds of a great album that just closes with a whimper. It happens, and the last few tracks take nothing away from the quality of the other songs. There are countless albums out there that this happens to, so at least At Night, Alone lumped them all at the end so you can just stop the album after the seventh track.
Overall Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Favorite Track: Not That Simple