Words: Bushra Lohrasbi
Bruno Mars is the image of pop. I genuinely can’t think of a time when this five foot five inch legend was on a tabloid for doing something socially unacceptable. Mars’ last album and the most successful thus far is Unorthodox Jukebox. Hit after hit. Number one on iTunes month after month. The one rhythm my neighbors could always hear coming out of my house during the summer was the vintage yet modern beat of the 80’s, with the smooth yet upbeat voice of Bruno Mars.
On this captivating album, Mars lists his first song to be “Young Girls.” This song is literally Mars pleading to his audience of how intoxicated he gets when he falls in love with these ‘young girls.’ It seems like a weird choice to put as the first song on the album because it is such a slow and intimate song. But it’s the fact that it is so slow and intimate that makes it so amazing.
Next is “Locked Out of Heaven,” which has been on the radio nonstop since the day of its single release. The disco rhythm really takes you all the way back to the 80’s. The more than interesting songs start to begin at number three on the track list with “Gorilla;” it is the epitome of a funky beat that actually sounds good. As several YouTube viewers mentioned in the Vevo comment section, “It is the most relatable and best song he (Mars) has written.”
Treasure. Number 5 on Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and over 3 million sales in less than eight months, Mars sincerely deserved a pat on his back. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the music video with his spastic yet impressive dance moves, including his entire band! The phenomenon is topped off with repeated lyrics throughout the song, making it even catchier.
Number five and six on Unorthodox Jukebox are somewhat similar yet different in so many ways: “Moonshine” and “When I was your Man.” “Moonshine” is what some people might call a classic Bruno Mars song. The definition of a laid back hit with that 80’s twist on it. “When I Was Your Man” was somewhat shocking to many fans, as they had never really heard Mars sing in such an emotional way, especially in his recording, you can sense the remorse in his voice.
“Natalie” is an all-time Mars favorite for me. A faster than life tempo and amazing harmonies in the background from the start is an open invitation to listen. The bass drum keeping the beat during the entire song also helps you basically feel the song inside and out. “Show Me” is almost the exact opposite of track number seven. This track has a Jamaican vibe to it with steel drums rocking in the background, and Mars shows his true talent in this song that he can literally create and perform any type of music from any genre.
Coming toward the end of the track list, Mars decides to place “Money Make Her Smile.” This is a hip and unstructured song with a reggae rock swing. Mars told E! News that this song is how he describes “sex, revenge, anger, and chauvinism.”
Last comes “If I Knew.” Mars hasn’t revealed to anyone why he placed this slow and meaningful as his closing song on Unorthodox Jukebox. But this song really shows how great Mars is at making melodies come together with harmonies.
But there seems to be a pattern with Mars on his entire album, Unorthodox Jukebox. “Locked out of Heaven” could easily be mistaken for “Treasure” if you aren’t really paying attention. It has the same vibe and layer back theme. For a music video addict like myself, the video for “When I was your Man” and “Gorilla” look like they were filmed and recorded when disco was at it’s prime. But admittedly, I couldn’t care less. I love listening to him on my way to school or to work in hopes to raise my spirits just a little bit.
Overall, Unorthodox Jukebox was prodigious. This is really a huge throwback album full of disco jams with Mars’ creative and brilliant own twist. Although most of his songs on this album were quite similar in sound and rhythm, it worked. The pop industry seemed so ready for something like this to come out. A flash to the past is sometimes all we need.