A Real Good Kid is the artistic representation of a series of events which turnt Mike Posner’s life on its head. In two years, Posner suffered a sour breakup and the passing away of his two best friends, his father and Avicii. The range of raw emotions which one would expect to feel in such circumstances are nested within each song of the album. They record his feelings and the way he deals with them while paying homage to the affection and inspiration that his friends left behind.
Posner is unapologetically unfiltered in exposing these emotions. He lets them dictate the music, creating an incoherent ensemble of distortion, dissonance and heavy bass (‘Drip’) contrasted with sweet harmonies, falsettos and acoustic guitar (‘Wide Open’) reflecting his shifting mood. With disarming ease, he often sings what the listener is too afraid to say. As if he were writing in a private diary, he confesses, “It is not fucking all good”, but is hopeful in recognising that “beginnings always hide themselves in ends”.
Indeed, the album is a middle finger to convention, yet the more you listen, the more his creation makes sense. Posner’s emotional exposure encourages an affinity with the listener, who is entrusted with an uncensored insight into his personal life. Rather than listening to individual songs, the audience is transported along a stream of consciousness, sharing those same emotions in his journey to recovery. This is what Posner asks of the listener in the introduction of the album: “forty minutes of undivided attention”. His message deserves and demands their full attention and empathy.
A Real Good Kid is honest, hopeful, nostalgic and tragic. Throughout it, emotion transcends logic. In turning his pain into a captivating experience for the listener, Posner has proven that he is so much more than the guy who took a pill in Ibiza.