Bruno Mars - Topic

Unorthodox Jukebox Play

Bruno Mars' debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, made the talented singer/writer/producer into a star, racking up hit singles, hosting Saturday Night Live, and becoming something of a romantic icon thanks to loverman anthems like "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade." His second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, hints at a turbulent love life (songs like "Young Girls" and "Money Make Her Smile" give the impression that Mars' opinion of the opposite sex may have taken a nosedive recently), but many of the songs retain the easygoing charm of Doo-Wops, especially the lilting reggae come-on "Show Me" and the MJ-inspired disco jam "Treasure." At his best, like on the single "Locked Out of Heaven," which sounds like a breezy mashup of "Beat It," the Police, and Dire Straits, Mars' light vocal delivery and way with a hook are quite appealing, and thanks to production help from heavy-hitters like Mark Ronson, Diplo, Emile Haynie, and his own crew, the Smeezingtons, the album sound is clean and punchy. ~ Tim Sendra, Rovi

Doo-Wops & Hooligans Play

Bruno Mars was riding high when his first album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, was released in 2010. Indeed, the first single from the album, the lushly romantic "Just the Way You Are," was topping the singles chart. For the album, Mars worked with a large team of songwriters and producers, but still managed to come up with a record that sounded like it was written and recorded on a warm, sleepy summer Sunday afternoon. The intimate and relaxed feel can be traced to two factors: one, Mars mostly played all the instruments himself, and two, his voice is the kind of smooth instrument that slips into your ear like honey. Most of the tracks on Doo-Wops capture this laid-back groove. ~ Tim Sendra, Rovi

It's Better If You Don't Understand Play

By the time of his official debut release, Bruno Mars was already known as a genre-defying (hip-hop/pop/R&B) triple-threat (singer/songwriter/producer) of a hitmaker (co-writer of Flo Rida’s “Right Round”/co-writer and guest vocalist on B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ on You”). Instead of introducing his solo career with the guest-star filled, everywhere-at-once, and possibly-too-big album, someone made the brilliant decision to slowly introduce him with this humble EP, a four-song and surprisingly sparse effort that leans towards pop while focusing on the man’s songwriting. Top pick is the opening "Somewhere in Brooklyn," which chases after the elusive perfect woman (“Red Nike high-tops/Listening to hip-hop”) with an emo-pop backing track. "The Other Side" does the groovy trick of putting guests B.o.B. and Cee-Lo in the wayback machine for a ‘60s-flavored rave-up, while the two closing numbers are both bittersweet ballads that could please David Cook or Jason Mraz’s fans. The short set of easy, breezy tunes may not leave the listener begging for more, but it will make most pop fans open to the idea. With the R&B crown already on lock, that’s quite the pre-album tee-up. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi
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