Mansionz: Mansionz – Review | Cross Examinations

Release Date: March 24, 2017
Label: Beat Trap / Island / Monster Mountain
Genres: Alternative Hip Hop / Contemporary R&B / Electropop / Electro-R&B

Mansionz is a duo consisting of acoustic pop rapper Mike Posner, of “Cooler Than Me” fame and coming off his recent album At Night, Alone and Flordia-based rapper Blackbear. I really did not know what to think when I saw the cover for this album, but I initially first thought that this was some sort of EDM / electronic group. I am glad that I decided to listen to it, however, as I listened to some very introspective tracks on the album.

The album starts off with a spacey instrumental. It really sets up how the rest of the album is going to feel in terms of instrumentation and production. It even contains a sample from The xx’s “Lips” from their 2017 album I See You, an album of which I reviewed earlier in the year. “My Beloved” really sets up how the rest of the album will be in terms of lyrical material. It is a song about a relationship that is basically on the fringe of collapsing and the only thing that can save it is sex. A really good song with good subject matter. The album’s next track “STFU,” which means exactly what you think, is a good song, to say the least, but I felt that it sounded just like “My Beloved,” so I felt that it was basically a continuation of the song.

The next track “Dennis Rodman” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It contrasts with how slow and melancholic that the first three tracks have been. It is a very upbeat track and it really makes you want to bob your entire body because of how bouncy and somewhat funky the instrumentation and production is. I honestly thought that Anderson Paak was singing at first, because it sounded so much like him, but it is indeed Mike Posner. “i’m thinking about horses” is probably my favorite track on the album. It has simple but spacey background music mixed with some keyboards. On this track, Mike Posner is speaking about his opinions on certain things, specifically sex, God, and himself; he even makes the comparison between himself and horses. I felt the spoken word aspect of the track really set it apart from the rest of the album, which is practically sung or rapped. He also ponders about his fear of death and makes his connection to artists like Otis Redding, Kurt Cobain, and J Dilla. It even includes an outro by Dennis Rodman. “nobody knows” is a melancholic song about each artist’s cynicism toward the world. “Wicked” is a decent track with a featured verse by G-Eazy. The instrumentation is very vibrant and bouncy. “Rich White Girls” is probably another one of my favorites on this album. It is a very soulful song about the narrator’s opinion on the type of girls that the title suggests.

“Strip Club:” no. Just no.

“White Linen” is another favorite. In this song, the idea of matrimony and monogamy is questioned and fame is debated differently with the perspectives of both Mike Posner and Blackbear. Like “Rich White Girls,” it is a very soulful song. It has some subtle dark elements to it as well, especially with Blackbear’s verse. The chorus is definitely one of those choruses that will find its way into your brain and stay there for a long time. “The Death of a Troubador,” the thirteenth and final track, is one of the more humorous tracks on the album.

Overall, this album has a lot of really good moments, and I do not think that it gets outweighed by the fact that there are some aspects of it that need a little bit of work on it. It is produced very well and the lyrics, for the most part, are very enjoyable and not too unbearable or corny. It has moments of introspection and the instrumentation for each track is defintiely high quality. For that reason, I give this album an 82 / B-.

Favorite tracks: “My Beloved,” “Dennis Rodman,” “i’m thinking about horses,” “nobody knows,” “Rich White Girls,” “White Linen,” and “The Death of a Troubador.”
Least favorite tracks: “Strip Club.”

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