Listen As Bruno Mars Bridges The Gap
By: Jessica Passione-Sanchez
With a name like “24k Magic,” some serious innovation and a showcase of brilliant collaborations were expected from Bruno Mars’ newest album.
Keeping his tradition as with “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” and “Unorthodox Jukebox,” “24k Magic” is only a couple minutes over a half an hour long. By the time you’re really getting into it, its over.
Why would you do this to us, Bruno? Perhaps it’s a strategy to keep us wanting more. We do and it seems that we always will.
Bruno Mars is a key element in the music industry that bridges past musical movements to the present.
His appreciation and influences can be heard throughout all of his albums, including this one.
The album starts with “24k Magic,” the hit single that reminded listeners of the timeless phenomenon that is Bruno Mars.
Starting the album with this song was the best choice because it undoubtedly is the most memorable.
Its upbeat tempo and comical lyrics make it the perfect song to pregame to with your friends or even do a killer karaoke performance to. Starting on a high note and grabbing attention was the motif here and it works.
It is Bruno Mars’ first album in four years and his main goal was to create a record that was reminiscent of the 90’s and his time spent at school dances.
If there’s one thing that can be certain about a Bruno Mars album, it is that you will most definitely be traveling across time and musical genres while listening.
Musically, this record is perfect for dancing and feeling good. Lyrically, it lacks completely.
Some of the best pop hits have the most simple or silly lyrics but it’s unclear what the intent behind “24k Magic” was, especially after releasing an album with heartfelt ballads like “Young Girls” and “When I Was Your Man.”
An artist is only as good as his or her progression. As listeners we want to see transitions and style-changes. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
If Bruno Mars’ simple and mostly joking lyrics were done on purpose in order to just kick back, enjoy the music, and laugh at the catchy jabs like “Throw some perm on your attitude,” then he did a good job.
If it wasn’t done on purpose then the songwriting is definitely subpar compared to his other albums.
“That’s What I Like” takes you back to the days of Boyz ll Men or early 2000s pop radio hits when boy bands were huge. If you grew up during that time, it’s a nostalgic reminder of the type of songs and videos you saw back when you rushed home from school to go watch TRL when MTV used to be about the music.
Just when it seems as though Bruno Mars ditches having a signature love ballad, “Versace On The Floor” and “Straight Up & Down” slow the tempo of the album down.
His musical influences can be heard loud and clear in these songs as it takes you back to the styles of Marvin Gaye and the slow but heavy background beat songs of Michael Jackson. “
Too Good To Say Goodbye,” which ends the album, is slow and sensual; a stark contrast to the way the record begins.
There are so many influences that can be heard throughout the album that makeup the overall sound of what “24k Magic” is.
What was anticipated to be an album filled with new music that would be gold for a new generation of listeners actually turned out to be filled with gold from past musical genres and movements.
Although it may not be brand new music, to younger people that have never taken the time to listen to pop music from the 90’s or earlier, it is very different compared to what is currently going on in the music industry.
“24k Magic” is a breath of fresh air right now and a sweet nostalgic reminder of the past, a combination that sounds impossible until you listen to the album.
“Pop music, when I was growing up, was New Edition, Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey — that was pop music,” Bruno Mars said in an interview with KIIS- FM.
“It’s the reason why I’m talking to you today.
My love for that and seeing that as a kid and saying one day I want to do that. So I kind of just wanted to bring it back to that.”