Self-titled album shows promise with complex themes despite generic lyrics, jarring acoustics

4 months ago
Roman Soriano
Commentary

Mansionz is a collaborative duo composed of Mike Posner and Blackbear. Their debut album, also titled “mansionz,” explores themes of love, non-conformity and depression. They have worked together twice before on individual songs, but this is the first album released as a team. Although the album contains a few interesting songs, most of them are fairly generic. There’s not a lot of experimentation going on, and many of the songs sound similar to one another. 

The opening track, “Snoozefest,” is an instrumental that previews what the production on the album looks like, which follows the current trend of pop-music with a lot of electronic influence. This is especially clear on songs like “Wicked” and “Dennis Rodman.” However there are tracks with a more acoustic sound, like “Strip Club.” Overall the production is well executed, although it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from other pop albums. It’s clear, and stays consistent throughout the project and it’s a good fit for both Blackbear and Posner. 


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The lyrics are one of the album’s biggest setbacks. At the best the lyrics are cheesy and cliché, at the worst, they try too hard to be deep. The biggest offender is the song “I’m thinking about horses,” a six-minute monologue by Mike Posner that ends with a really abrupt, generic beat drop. Although it’s technically a poem and not a song, Posner ponders God, sex, death and horses. Posner occasionally screams some of his sentences to accentuate the emotions he’s feeling, but it ends up being jarring and unpleasant.

The theme is consistent throughout the project, and they do a fair job of making sure to keep the themes relevant. Detailing substance abuse, relationships and mental health, the pair clearly expresses what they want to, just not always in the most elegant way. Lines such as “I’m chasing a feeling I could describe as great” are common, and although they try to convey their emotions, it’s surface-level.

Despite all of these downsides, “mansionz” does have several good moments. “STFU” presents soothing music. Although the lyrics are far more aggressive and cold, this juxtaposition makes it an interesting song. “Wicked” is generic, but it’s catchy and makes you want to get up and dance.

“Mansionz” doesn’t make an effort to differentiate itself from other pop albums. Although it has a few very strong songs, most of them are formulaic and boring. Many songs from “mansionz” will likely see a lot of radio play, but in a few short months, they will be forgotten completely.