Who is this man, and when does he go away?…
Martin Skidmore: You know how there are still people who can’t rap without sounding as if they might be trying to sort of sing too? Posner sounds like one of those, and this has the rhythm of amateurish singing and the tunefulness of rapping.
Hillary Brown: Has both the charming naivety of adolescence and the disadvantages of that posture as well. And he seems like he could use a lesson in breath control.
Michaelangelo Matos: If Tom Petty weren’t so busy empathizing with Jamaican weed dealers (complete with phony accent to go with a “reggae” groove) in the worst song of 2010, he might have written this I-hate-hipsters song, just like he did “Zombie Zoo” 21 years ago — to make fun of new wavers! In 1989! Only Posner makes synth pop rather than rahk, and he appears to be of the generation for which no idiotic sentiment goes unexpressed, so when the chorus hangs on “You think you’re cooler than me” the effect is about half “Hey, guys, wait up” and half “I’m going to show up at the schoolyard with an AK.”
Jonathan Bogart: The many different strands of cool (and “cool”) at work here are far too involved to disentangle in the space of a blurb; so I’ll just take this as a salutary reminder that just because a guy is a lovelorn sensitive dweeb pining after the stuck-up princess who doesn’t know he’s alive doesn’t mean he can’t also be also a total asshole.
Katherine St Asaph: I’d love to hear this girl’s reaction. Maybe she wears designer shades and shoes because she likes how they look. Maybe she meets everyone’s eyes because she’s genuinely friendly. Maybe she recognized Mike’s “tricks” as the sub-pickup-artist schemes they probably were. Maybe she actually has an inner life, despite his reedy-voiced crowing that she doesn’t. Or maybe Mike’s right and she really is an ice-queen cliche made flesh; he’d still be too smug about it. On the bright side, that’s one hell of a beat he’s got. It’s much cooler than him.
Chuck Eddy: This might seem less smarmy if he was directing it at some jerky guy he hates (and was willing to be way more insulting about) rather than some snobby girl he likes. The latter situation just makes him seem like a crybaby, and gives me no reason to believe she isn’t cooler than him. On the other hand, back when I was starting an ad hoc organization at my high school called the Fraternity Regime of Unpopular Male Persons (F.R.U.M.P.), I might have identified with this to some extent regardless. And I don’t mind how Posner’s feathery voice floats on through, or the Blondie “Call Me” synth pulse. Still wouldn’t put it in a class with “I’m Awesome” by Spose, though.
John Seroff: Hey Mr. Posner, you are correct in your assumption that I do think I’m cooler than you, though I would like to point out that I did remember your name and I am saying “hey”. In my defense, my exposure to you is limited to a vaguely threatening, nearly atonal, blank verse ramble that refers to “highbrow shoes” and sounds suspiciously like an excerpt from the notebook of the quiet young man who lived upstairs and kept to himself until someone wondered where the girl in apartment 4C disappeared to. Pleasant enough production saves this from a perhaps deserved lower score.
Alfred Soto: With Justin Timberlake otherwise occupied with golf and third-rate cameos, the charts needed to fill the dork-pop gap, and boy, is Posner a dork: if he’d tried to talk to me with that breathy voice in high school I’d have smashed his glasses. His loquacity and an unexpectedly wiggy keyboard solo before the outro compensate for the state of the art straitjacket in which he encases the full power of his dorkdom. Give him another six months before the collab with Drake and Jason Derulo.