Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox

Some musicians are very comfortable sticking to one particular genre of music. Coldplay knows what they do well and what their fans expect of them. A solo artist who refuses to be painted into a corner is the wonderfully talented Bruno Mars. Oozing talent and charisma the guy has an old school performance style with the huge onstage backing band and the choreography but everything else about him is incredibly modern. Yes, he does reference music of yesteryear however he breathes originality and new life into it. His sophomore album release was preceded by the lead single being introduced to us. “Locked Out of Heaven” is the song of Mars’ that is most like his live show as it is full of energy and you cannot help but sing along with it. Instantaneously catchy. “Oh yeah, yeah, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah”. Who among us has not found themselves singing along to that? But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the album begins and ends with that one fantastic song. Like his smash debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, it is an album jam packed with potential hit songs.  The pop/soul tracks are all aided by that smooth as honey voice of his and its incredible range and flexibility. It can be gritty, smooth, powerful or soft as needed. Listening to a song like “When I Was Your Man” you can tell this is not a technology aided voice. The ballad features a raw and vulnerable voice that encourages the listener to think back to a time when we were all a little younger. A track like “If I Knew” demonstrates once again that he is the best male artist at old time soul like that which came out of Motown. Mars pays homage to music from the 50s, 60s and 80s on Unorthodox Jukebox. While he hasn’t altered what he did on his first albums (fans of it will be once again pleased) he does expand his horizons and experiment a little.

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