Re­view: Mars nails with new al­bum party vibe

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

BRUNO Mars hasn’t had much time to bask in suc­cess. Af­ter a short breather, he is back with a new al­bum -- and his spirit is as sunny as ever.

24K Magic, which was re­leased over the week­end, is from start to fin­ish a party al­bum, which brings crowds to their feet from the first beat and, even on bal­lads, keeps its up­beat vibe.

The 31-year-old Hawaii-born singer has be­come one of the decade’s most suc­cess­ful artists with an un­apolo­get­i­cally retro sen­si­bil­ity, pro­duc­ing pop tracks that hark back to jukebox hits from the 1980s and ear­lier.

If the songs of pas­sion­ate love and long­ing oc­ca­sion­ally ref­er­ence the 21st cen­tury, the sounds on the lat­est al­bum again re­mind of an­other time save for the oc­ca­sional hip-hop de­liv­ery.

His voice takes on a brassy power that could eas­ily be mis­taken for James Brown on “Perm” as Mars in­vites women to his party -- ask­ing them to re­lax in the way that for­mula un­curls hair.

“Put your phone down, let’s get it! / For­get your In­sta­gram and your Twit­ter / Got me like, ‘Whoa, wait a minute!’,” Mars sings.

The open­ing ti­tle track on 24K Magic takes on echoes of early Janet Jack­son with heavy syn­the­siz­ers and a read­ily dance­able beat.

Mars, who co­in­ci­den­tally re­leased the al­bum 10 days af­ter one of the most di­vi­sive elec­tions in US his­tory, makes it no se­cret that he wants to stay pos­i­tive and un­con­tro­ver­sial.

He stays out of celebrity beefs and away from the gos­sip pages, pre­fer­ring to keep his hard-work­ing sched­ule in the stu­dio and as a live per­former.

Mars, speak­ing to Ap­ple Mu­sic’s Beats One ra­dio about the lat­est al­bum, said he saw 24K Magic as car­ry­ing an at­mos­phere akin to a movie sound­track.

“It could be bor­ing for peo­ple this day and age, but I don’t want to be known for scan­dals or con­tro­versy,” he said.

“I want to be that guy who brings joy to your life through his mu­sic. That’s it. And I want to go home, throw on some Netflix and live a life.”

Mars, whose di­verse ances­try in­cludes Puerto Ri­can and Filipino roots, pur­posely does not use his real sur­name Her­nan­dez to avoid be­ing lumped in as a Latin artist.

Dropped by sto­ried Mo­town Records early in his ca­reer, Mars en­joyed phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess with Jukebox.

He achieved five num­ber-one hits on the US sin­gles chart more quickly than any artist ex­cept Elvis Pres­ley – whose stage per­sona is a ma­jor in­flu­ence on Mars.

Af­ter an ex­ten­sive tour for the last al­bum, Mars only par­tially left the limelight. He col­lab­o­rated with pro­ducer Mark Ron­son on “Up­town Funk”, the mega-hit with touches of early Prince that is in line with the sound of the lat­est al­bum.

Mars took to the stage for the half­time show at the Su­per Bowl, the year’s big­gest tele­vi­sion event, and as­sisted as a song­writer for English bal­ladeer Adele’s block­buster al­bum 25.

Mars plans an­other mas­sive tour to ac­com­pany 24K Magic with nearly 100 con­certs across Europe and North Amer­ica over the com­ing year. Un­ortho­dox

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