24K Magic - Bruno Mars
When it comes to artists that I hear in passing that I enjoy but haven't gotten a proper look at, Bruno Mars has definitely been on that list. His throwback style and vocals were always pleasing to the ear ever since the "Just the Way You Are" & "Nothing on You" days. Yet, something seemed to hold me back from going past the singles I'd hear. Then the album title track was released this year and it was the impetus I needed. The nostalgia and fun in the delivery was too much for me not to anticipate this project. Which brings us to this review today.
This short LP follows much of the fashion of last year's hit, "Uptown Funk", with a sound that harkens back to 70's funk and continues to travel through the decades with small touches of modernization. Being just a little over a half hour long, each track is presented knowing it has to hit since there's little room for error. You get some James Brown funk in "24K Magic" & "Perm", late 80's/early 90's R&B with "Versace on the Floor" & "Straight Up and Down", and even New Jack Swing with "Finesse". The one song I feel is the most modern sounding song would be "That's What I Like". Mars emulates each sound with near flawlessness with each track.
In my opinion, there's only one track I feel Bruno missed the mark and it was only with the lyrics. That song would be "Calling All My Lovelies", with it's almost Lonely Island silly lines akin to "Dick in a Box" & "Mother Lover". "Perm" almost panders a little too much in the same manner, but Bruno adds enough character to make it bearable. Absolute favorites of mine would certainly be the title track, "Finesse", & "That's What I Like". Yet, it's uncanny how much of a Jackson 5 feel I get from "Too Good to Say Goodbye".
In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who would like a taste of the old days with a modern kick. It's honestly a project full of fun songs for the dance floor and grooving in the car. Matter of fact, the sonics of songs like "Chunky" can make you wanna strut down the street like a player. But all jokes aside, this is a remarkable ode to the past of R&B, funk, & soul. I do not regret finally giving Bruno Mars a chance to work his magic on my eardrums. Now to listen to his back catalog!
If this post is "Too Good to Say Goodbye", here's something else to check out:
The Needle Drop Review (Another balanced look at the album)
24K Magic (The music video)
24K Magic Singoff (Conor Maynard & Alex Aiono Cover)
24K Magic Live (@ the AMA 2016)
Radio Interview (Good interview)
TV Interview (Cringey interview)