31 Minutes to Takeoff is the debut album by American singer Mike Posner, released on August 10, 2010. The album debuted at number eight on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 29,000 copies. “Cooler Than Me” is certified Double Platinum. “Please Don’t Go” is certified Platinum.
- Cooler Than Me
- Please Don’t Go
- Bow Chicka Wow Wow
Posner’s idea for the album was to make something that didn’t sound like anything that was already out. In an interview with Billboard, Posner argues: “My music doesn’t sound like anyone else’s, and it’s important for me that it stays that way”, and that “I want to make songs that will bring people together”, Posner has stated that he draws a great deal of influence for his music from his hometown “Where I grew up was a huge influence on my music.” He also said that “A lot of people have trouble putting into words what my music is, and it’s because of where I grew up”. Meanwhile, speaking to Blues & Soul about the album’s stylistic diversity, he described it as “A 21st Century album – meaning that, instead of listening to 12 different artists on your iPod, with my record you can just listen to ONE! Because every song is refreshing and different from the one before, and at the same time BETTER than the one before!”
The title of the album, “31 Minutes to Takeoff”, is in fact a reference to something that occurs exactly 31 minutes into the record. As Posner himself describes it “Something happens 31 minutes into the record … All I can say is that both the listener and I will be in a higher place when it’s over”. 31 minutes into the CD, during “Synthesizer,” there is a sound of an airplane taking off.
Music and Lyrics
Musically, 31 Minutes to Takeoff consists a blend of pop, R&B, and dance songs with heavy use of synthesizers straight out the 80’s, influences of hip hop music while also incorporating electronic music with clever hooks and catchy beats. Songs like “Please Don’t Go”, “Cooler Than Me”, and “Cheated” , are up-tempo dance songs. “Please Don’t Go” is an electropop song with an R&B infused beat and heavy-use “video game” like synths in its chorus. “Cheated” follows a similar path, with a more dance oriented beat and repetitive hook, and “Cooler Than Me”, is electropop based with nu-disco influences. “Bow Chicka Wow Wow”, “Déjà Vu”, and “Do U Wanna?” are mid-tempo songs carrying R&B sounds, with “Delta 1406” following the same path with a faded beat. “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” carries it’s R&B sound with a rock music feel, while “Déjà Vu” blends 90’s R&B sound with contemporary pop and features Boyz II Men on background vocals. “Do U Wanna?” is a hip hop old-school R&B song, with stax horns, whistles, over a bluesy guitar that samples Ray LaMontagne “You Are the Best Thing”. “Gone In September” is a pop acoustic-rock tune, while “Save Your Goodbye”, and “Synthesizer” are synthpop ballads.
Lyrically, the album references Posner’s personal experiences, ranging from love, and rise to fame at age 22. Its first single “Cooler Than Me” is about a girl who thinks she’s cooler than anybody, and “needs everyone’s eyes just to feel seen”. In an interview with US Weekly, Posner says the “song was inspired by a girl I went to Duke with, but she doesn’t deserve any notoriety”. “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” is a song ‘to reel a women in’. “Cheated” sees Posner singing about his regret at not cheating on a former flame who cheated on him with lyrics like ’’I should have cheated on you / I was everything you wanted and more / I should have cheated on you / nobody told me I was dating a whore’’, while later calls out his ex by name. “Gone In September”, a song about Posner breaking up with a woman. “Delta 1406” is a song about Posner current rise to fame, written on his way back home to Detroit in the flight (he sat in seat 6A), after spending 5 months in Los Angeles, “I’ve got to book hotels for my Detroit shows” says Posner as a reflection of what he was dealing with at the time. “Please Don’t Go” shows Posner begging a girl to stay. Mike has explained, in a candid interview with Amaru Don TV, what his song “Save Your Goodbye” is about. He says “I’m writing a letter to my depression. I’ve struggled with depression, you know, all my life. And I kind of masked this letter through making it sound like it’s a song about a girl I have a crush on that I can’t get out of my head. But in reality, I’m talking about something different.”