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Mike Posner – Operation: Wake Up (Album Review)

 

Mike Posner has broken away from his prior upbeat personas to explore the dark side of mental health with his unconventional rap opera.


STREAM


TOP 3

 

3. ALONE IN A MANSION

The final chapter for Posner’s character focuses on isolation and loneliness, as the fictionalized “Mike” succumbs to his downward spiral.

This track features some nice mellow electric beats as well as plenty of pressing emotional vocal hits that will definitely connect with anyone that’s overcome or known someone with issues of extreme depression and suicidal thoughts. 

 

 

2. ONCE IN A WHILE (MIKE MEETS JESSIE J)

As Posner’s character goes off to meet Jessie J, he reflects on his own self-loathing and doubt.

Mike Posner dabbles with a lot of experimental instrumental and vocal switch-ups on “Once In A While.” The chorus is a straight bop and the trumpets are a nice additional touch.

 

 

1.WEAPONRY

Out of all the tracks on this album, “Weaponry” and its emotional ballad seem almost out of place compared to the experimental extremes of the other pieces.

Featuring Jessie J, “Weaponry” tells a story of anger, sadness, and a desperate plea for help. Out of all the tracks on Operation: Wake Up, this one has the most universal appeal and is a straight banger. Even so, this track’s focal point doesn’t waver from Posner’s overall theme.


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. INTRODUCTION (N/A)

2. SHAVE IT ALL OFF (3/5)

3. ONCE IN A WHILE (MIKE MEETS JESSIE J) (4/5)

4. WEAPONRY (5/5)

5. MIKE MEETS BLACKBEAR AT JOE’S FALAFEL (3/5)

6. LET’S HAVE A PARTY (3/5)

7. TRACY CALLS NOELLE (MIKE’S EX) (3/5)

8. BLACKBEAR THROWS A RAGER IN LA (3/5)

9. HIGH & LOW (ON LSD) (4/5)

10. ALONE IN A MANSION (4/5)


OVERALL RATING

(B)

 

Created over a two-week period in his parent’s basement, Mike Posner’s “Operation: Wake Up” is an abrupt turn from the seemingly positive persona of his prior albums. While Posner states that these characters and events are fictional, there’s a heavyweight of darkness on this album that definitely makes you wonder if there’s more to this avant-garde self-described “rap opera” than he leads us to believe.

Posner uses “Operation: Wake up” to explore topics of depression, suicide, self-hatred, distorted reality, and isolation, while being heavily experimental with both vocals and instrumental production. There are definite echoes of Eminem’s earlier work, especially “Stan” on this album. I also see a connection to Tyler the Creator’s song “Bastard” as well as his album “Goblin,” especially the song “Yonkers.”

The artsy abstraction of “Operation: Wake Up” as well as the important themes surrounding mental health are worth Posner’s requested straight-through listen and there are genuinely good moments woven throughout the album; however, it does seem like the eccentric quality and extremely dark themes will likely turn away fans hoping to match “Operation: Wake Up” with Posner’s more upbeat prior work personas.

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