When Bruno Mars' first single came out and every one began talking about him, I thought he would be overrated. Then, my sister's friend announced that he was going to learn to play "Just the Way You Are," in time for her wedding and I thought it would be good to listen to this song that people were so excited about; then I fell under Bruno Mars' spell.
No matter how talented an artist is, their success comes down to how charismatic that person is, and you cannot watch Bruno Mars without liking him. I've never seen him live (though he is on my list of performers I will see in the future), but watching his live performances on MTV, SNL, or any other award/talent/night show which he has performed on, have revealed his great stage presence. He always appears to be happy while performing, and that makes it so much more enjoyable to watch. His voice sounds the same live as it does recorded (which is so important with the rampant auto-tuning of today's artists) and he and his band are so fun to watch on stage that you can't not like them; they remind me of The Fray in that, even if the band does not make sense as a concert band, they are fantastic because the front man knows how to work and communicate with the crowd (and enjoys doing so).
"Just the Way You Are" was his first break-through single (solo single, as "Nothin' On You" and "Billionaire" had already made him a household name) and, though it was sickeningly sweet, with just the right amount of commercial sheen, it's balanced out by other songs like "Our First Time" or "Liquor Store Blues" on Doo-Wops & Hooligans. I can't help but think that I would not like "Just the Way You Are" if I were not a girl; I am though, so why not admit that I love it?
"Runaway Baby" is just great; the song might be 'raunchy', but I just can't take offence, or do any more than laugh at "there's only one carrot and they all gotta share it," if it's coming from Bruno Mars. "Marry You" is just as horrifically catchy as "Runaway Baby," only it is slightly more 'socially acceptable'. It's also the reason why I will never refer to anything as alcohol again; it's "dancing juice".
"The Lazy Song" might have been overplayed, but that does not mean that it is not fantastic. Who has not had one of these days, and someone had to admit that Snuggie's were great. Plus, it's a great ukulele song, and there are not enough of those.
"Talking to The Moon" was on my roommate's playlist for nearly an entire year and I grew tired of it, but listening to it now after not hearing it in a while, I can understand why it is so great. It has an 'old school' sound that works fantastically with Bruno Mars' style and voice, and the song itself is beautiful (and I very rarely describe things as 'beautiful'). "The Other Side" falls under this same category, where the song is different from the others on the album, but in the most unexpected, and best, way. The song does feature Cee-Lo Green and B.o.B, but I would still think it was great without their input (probably).
"Count On Me" is the best song by Bruno Mars; it's the only song by him which I like more than "Runaway Baby". "If you're tossing and you're turning and you just can't fall asleep, I'll sing a song, beside you" is just great, to me.
"Grenade" is too catchy to ignore and claiming that it is not as 'good' as the others would be useless, but I still wonder how he knew that she had her eyes open when they first kissed. He redeems himself though by saying, or singing rather, "tell the devil I said hey when you get back to where you're from".
"It Will Rain" was not my favorite when it first came out as I knew it only as 'that song the radio DJ announced as the new single from the Twilight movie'. If you don't associate that with the song though, it's still just as good as all of his others. Bruno Mars has this great talent for manipulating lyrics and finding the absolute best words to describe how he feels.
"Lighters," is a truly great song; Mars lends a great hook to the song and, though he may be an unexpected addition to the band's duo, the song would not be as great without him. The same thing goes for "Young, Wild, & Free"; granted, when I saw Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg perform this song live, I did not complain about the lack of Mars, but his voice does add to the recorded song.
"Locked Out of Heaven," to me, sounds like Bruno Mars has found his niche, and I cannot wait for his new album. He sounds great, the song is put together wonderfully, and it is just as catchy as all of his previous songs. He premiered his song, "Young Girls," from this same album, on Saturday Night Live this past week, and both of his performances were slightly hypnotizing; his stage presence is only getting better with time. "Young Girls" might also be his only song which will compete with "Count On Me" as my favorite.
Bruno Mars released the track list for his new album, Unorthodox Jukebox, at the beginning of the month, along with announcing the release of the album, and I cannot wait to get his album on December 11th. He has announced that the album will be eclectic, as he did not want to corner himself into having to create only one sound; I think anyone who has read this blog knows how I feel about variety on an album. He might be a mainstream artist, but there is a reason for his popularity.