Bruno Mars | Doo Wops and Hooligans

Like a lot of up and coming R&B singers Bruno Mars has started his career in the music industry playing a role behind the scenes. Mars followed the same route other male singers, like Ne-Yo and The Dream, took by writing hit songs for other artists (FloRida’s “Right Round”). Like most over night sensations Bruno Mars seemed to be on every hit this year with B.o.B’s “Nothin’ On You” and Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire”. Now with a hit record of his own burning up the charts (Just The Way You Are) it’s time for Mr. Mars to step up to the plate and see if he can prove himself as an artist.


1. Grenade
Produced by The Smeezingtons
From the first line in this song you can hear the sincere pain in Bruno Mars’ voice. Instead of starting off the album with a happy love track we get a spiteful account of a previous relationship with an ungrateful partner. Through his signature falsetto you can hear that this issue is something deep to him. “I would go through all this pain, take a bullet straight through my brain, yes I would die for ya’ baby. But you won’t do the same” I really have to show some respect to Mars for not starting things off on a typical note. This is a pleasing start.


2. Just The Way You Are
Produced by The Smeezingtons
This song is doing crazy numbers. When I went to check out the video on YouTube I was surprised to see it had gotten over 9 million views in 3 weeks. We really shouldn’t underestimate these new singing cats. With that said, most of you would have already heard this one. I think this should be listened to carefully by both genders. The young guys can take away the fact that they should always be complementing their girls, making sure they’re feeling confident and sexy at all times. With that the girls really need to pay attention to what’s being said and realize that they’re beautiful, regardless of the amount of make up they have on or what brand of clothing they’re wearing. This is a positive track that I’m not mad at hearing several times through out the day despite it sounding like a B.o.B. – less “Nothin’ On You”.

3. Our First Time
Produced by The Smeezingtons
To compliment the last track Mars gets a little more intimate with his lady. The title should make the subject matter clear. Mars talks to his partner through the first time spending the night together. “Is that alright? Is that ok? No need to be nervous” This is a nice slow track with Mars showing off his vocal skills. The slow tempo represents what a love song from Bob Marley could sound like in 2010. You could definitely consider this a song for the grown folks.

4. Runaway Baby
Produced by The Smeezingtons
Oh man has the pace picked up here. This song has the sound of a crunk’d up Grease track. I’m loving everything, the guitars, police sirens, and the bad boy subject matter. It will definitely make you feel like a bad ass trying to pick up a hot librarian girl in the 50’s. The other bad thing about this song is it’s too short. We need to hear more then 2:27 minutes. It’s my favourite track but leaves me wanting more.

5. The Lazy Song
Produced by The Smeezingtons
This track is for that Sunday morning or that long overdue and well-deserved day off. This will be the anthem for all the breezy people out there. With the ukulele and tambourine it gives off the feeling of a stoner Jack Johnson track. Plus the mixture of humour helps with the song’s light heartedness. I can picture the music video with Bruno Mars sitting on a beach, playing a guitar, singing in the sun. I’m happy to hear that, so far, that the subject matter has change up nicely from track to track.

6. Marry You
Produced by The Smeezingtons
The drums used on this track are reminiscent of something off a Killers album. The song title doesn’t leave much to the imagination about what Mars is talking about. It’s not to be taken seriously though with lines like, “Who cares if we’re trashed, got a pocket full of cash we can blow…If we wake up and break up that’s cool, No I won’t blame you, it was fun” What makes things hilarious is the fact that Bruno Mars describes alcohol as “dancing juice”. I’d say this is a fun and cheeky track.

7. Talking To The Moon
Produced by The Smeezingtons
The mood is slowed right down with a track that was originally off Bruno Mars’ It’s Better If You Don’t Understand EP. This song is the album’s first ballad about the pain and suffering that comes with this messed up thing called love. I can imagine a lot of neighbours will be hearing this blaring out of the speakers of some poor person who’s up late missing their lost love. The somber piano keys will probably jerk a few tears out of anyone in earshot. Mars bares his soul here without coming off cheesy. He really shows off his vocal ability on this one and it is another good track.

8. Liquor Store Blues
Featuring Damian Marley; Produced by The Smeezingtons
When you see that Damian Marley is featuring on a track you can expect a funky reggae beat complete with earthy piano and steal drums to be heard; here is no different. Continuing with the dark theme, we get a daytime drinking song. “One shot for my pain, one drag for my sorrow”. Then enter Marley with an amazing flow recounting Mars’ blues. Check for the (unfortunately) brief guitar solo. Each song is carrying onto the next with great progression and is great listening so far.

9. Count On Me
Produced by The Smeezingtons
Mars must have been listening to a lot of Jason Mraz when recording this track because it kind of plays as a poor man’s “I’m Yours” with the minimal instrumentation. The topic of the song is nice enough having Mars lending a helping hand to a close friend. It’s good to hear him talking about friendship and not going the clichéd way and talk about a relationship but it’s not the best track on the album though.

10. The Other Side
Featuring B.o.B. and Cee Lo; Produced by The Smeezingtons
I’ve been analyzing this track for a while and still can’t quite get the concept of the song. It could totally be up for interpretation but what I’m starting to see it as is a track about letting go of the norm and living life a little bit less straight laced. Which would make sense having space cadets Cee Lo Green and B.o.B. riding shotgun on this berserk track. Cee Lo’s classic Gnarls Barkley styled yelling of the chorus creates a chaotic compilation with B.o.B. spitting his spaced out 16 bars. This one stands out completely from all the other songs with its bugged out production featuring frantic drums through the chorus and chilled out harmony for the verses. This maybe should have been put in half way through the album as is it’s high energy leaves the want for more. All that considered, it still finishes on a high note.

Bottom Line:
Mars has made an incredible first impression with Doo Wops and Hooligans. Each song switches up it’s tone, feel and subject matter which gives each segment it’s own definition and signature sound. The tracks tell their own story, eventually having the whole album panning out like a play. This album is mixed with drama, humour, happiness, romance, pain and anger. It helps us get to hear what Bruno Mars is all about not only as an artist but also as a person. The album is nice and slim at only 10 tracks so there is no room for filler here. Mars’ falsetto over ever changing production makes for a great listen. Despite a few misses this album is without a doubt worth the purchase.


Soulections: “Runaway Baby” , “Liquor Store Blues”

Listen: Bruno Mars – “Runaway Baby”

[audio:http://soulections.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/04-Bruno-Mars-Runaway-Baby.mp3|titles=04-Bruno Mars - Runaway Baby]

Quotis

26 Comments

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  3. saule wright says:

    The more I listen to this album, the more I like it. Lyrically and musically, this album is amazing.

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