Sometimes, first impressions aren't exactly right.
Though Mike Posner's smash single Cooler Than Me suggests that he might be 3OH!3's brainier little brother or Ke$ha's self-deprecating male counterpart, the recent Duke University graduate's debut album 31 Minutes to Take Off actually has far more in common with Justin Timberlake and Usher.
Posner plays the new-millennium soul man in Do You Wanna, riffing off a Ray LaMontagne horn sample and selling the loping groove like he's the love child of Otis Redding and Macy Gray. He holds his own with Boyz II Men, who back him up on Deja Vu and give him a sweet response to his sometimes expletive-laden calls.
But before people started getting the idea that he's an old-school soul cat, Posner quickly makes sure to act his age -- in the catchy come-on Bow Chicka Wow Wow or the retaliatory Cheated.
It's those unusual juxtapositions on 31 Minutes to Take Off that push Posner to the front of the soul-pop line, ahead of recent chart-toppers such as Jay Sean, Iyaz and Bruno Mars. If he keeps the rest of his career this fresh, Posner's takeoff should be exceedingly smooth.