After the sombre choral beginning of January 11, 2017, where Mike Posner gives a diary-like account of his father’s death, he launches into more accessible country pop on A Real Good Kid.
The acoustic picked guitars on Wide Open are a welcome intro to Posner’s soaring falsetto chorus, before dark, electronica vibes come in to create one of the best tracks here.
Song About You is equally enthralling, pairing a gritty hip-hop beat with retro Americana and a nonchalant vocal styling which suits his voice.
The rest of the record doesn’t gel so well. The worst offender is Move On and its repetitive monotony and country/house hybrid. Stuck In The Middle is similarly dull, with a dated, sad-EDM aesthetic.
Lyrically, Posner is all over the map. On Staring at the Fire (which has a great chorus, to be fair), he vies for a political angle without taking a clear side, while simultaneously trying to be some Bob-Dylan-esque storyteller without saying anything of note. And in the erratic genre-shifting Drip, he publicly damns a former friend, which just comes across as bitter.
A Real Good Kid has a plethora of great instrumental ideas, and it feels like Posner has a lot to say, but none of it feels that profound.