Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans [Reviews]
Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on December 8, 2010
Bruno Mars’ ubiquitous voice has been all over radio recently thanks in part to his No. 1 single “Just the Way You Are.” With his first album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Mars sets his bar extremely high, culminating in one of the best debuts That’s My Jam has heard since Lady Gaga’s The Fame.
Ammo for this argument starts early, with the set-opener “Grenade.” Here, Bruno laments about a woman for whom he would do anything, but she fails to reciprocate. Mars’ convincing vocals reach into some past experience or thespian training, because the rage and sadness are clear, and the lyrics leave no question as to how he feels.
The reggae-influenced “Liquor Store Blues” appropriately features Damian Marley and follows “Grenade’s” sad path, but “Runaway Baby” is quite the opposite, borrowing heavily from ’60s era rock and soul as Mars proudly embraces his rolling stone status.
“The Lazy Song” evokes memories of a tune by Jason Mraz (as does its sonic cousin, “Count On Me”), with a simple guitar strum guiding the melody and Bruno listing out the many things he plans on doing today … or not. The fun of this cut is how Bruno politely declares his need to just relax in a way so eloquent we can’t help but relate.
“Marry You” may sound like a holiday staple at first listen, especially at this time of year, but Mars’ lyrics “Cause it’s a beautiful night/We’re looking for something dumb to do/Hey baby/I think I wanna marry you” are simultaneously romantic and mocking of the institution. Post-marital bliss is explored in the sensual “Our First Time,” which is reminiscent of an island tune and not as overtly sexual as some current songs on the same subject matter.
Bruno Mars successfully accomplishes duality on this album in many areas: his influences are both mainstream and underground; he understands and delivers pop hooks, but maintains a sense of true artistry; and he romances the girls and provides a party album for the boys. It’s addicting and easy to listen to repeatedly, yet with each play, one comes away with something new they didn’t hear before. It’s a modern classic that will likely see its share of hits in 2011.
That’s My Jam’s Rating:
5. Get It Now
4. Get It On Sale
3. Get It As a Gift
2. Get It To a CD Exchange Store
1. Don’t Get It At All
2. “Just the Way You Are”
3. “Our First Time”
4. “Runaway Baby”
5. “The Lazy Song”
6. “Marry You”
7. “Talking to the Moon”
8. “Liquor Store Blues” feat. Damian Marley
9. “Count On Me”
10. “The Other Side” feat. Cee-Lo & B.o.B.