Review: Mansionz’ Debut Proves What We Already Knew

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Review: Mansionz, by Mansionz

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Mansionz is the first joint project from singer/songwriter Mike Posner, and his longtime collaborator Blackbear (notably, the pair previously co-wrote Justin Bieber’s hit single “Boyfriend”). Both artists show their versatility on the project, letting everyone know that they can both croon with the best of them and even spit some bars when necessary. The album uses smooth transitions well so that it all flows as one cohesive piece of art, allowing for a very rewarding front to back listen for the fans.

From top to bottom this album is a sort of journey. It is a trip into the mind of what millennials (/artists with millennial interests) think these days. This project tends to stick to one topic—relationships—and it covers it well. Blackbear and Posner show us that crazy nights and a constant flow of women isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, and that maybe all humans really need is true love – and as we learn on the track “Nobody Knows”, this isn’t always the easiest thing to say. The neighboring songs “Wicked” and “A Million Miles” form a pretty interesting duality, with “Wicked” being about one of the Mansionz boys becoming addicted to a girl and not having his feelings reciprocated, while alternatively on “A Million Miles” there is a girl in love with one of them, and this time they are the ones pushing her away. This same duality was also used when discussing self-image. The back and forth narrative creates an interesting juxtaposition.

Posner and Blackbear also show us what it means to think for yourself and be an individual. The song “Dennis Rodman” encapsulates the ideologies of mansionz, and is basically the duo telling us that they will do whatever they want because they don’t care what people think – this is a common theme in both members solo careers as well. But on the next track, we are shown that may not always be the case. On his spotlight spoken word poem “I’m Thinking About Horses”, Posner shows us what it is really like inside of his head, in a stream of consciousness style poem. He talks about how he struggles with his identity; the comparison of being ridden like a horse, even though he’s more than capable of striving by himself.

The three song series of “Rich White Girls,” “Strip Club,” and “White Linen” all flow very well, almost like a story. It’s safe to say that these songs are all pretty good jams, with three different vibes. Not to mention Cyhi the Prince has a fantastic feature on “White Linen.” For the Tumblr-era Blackbear (/Mat Musto) fans out there, the themes on this set of songs will serve as definite favourites.

Oh, and I can’t finish this review without writing about the outro, “The Life of a Troubadour.” Posner and Blackbear both rap on this track, and man, can they tell a story. In one adjective this track is amazing. It’s also hilarious, so I guess that’s two. The pair tell the same tale but from two different perspectives. In a nutshell, the story is a somewhat outrageous case of mistaken identity, and when the two characters finally meet the confrontation is a little outrageous. I don’t want to give it away, so I’ll just say that is definitely worth the listen.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this project. I went into this listen without hearing many songs from either artists’ collections, however both of them gained a new fan after I heard this. It’s safe to say that this is one of the smoothest albums to has been released in 2017 thus far. The one-two punch of singer/songwriters really came through and delivered a solid project with Mansionz.

Mansionz is available on all platforms, now.

Ballen

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