Bruno Mars shortchanges fans
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“24k Magic” tries to make up for in structure and diversity in genre what it lacks in time and substance. Bruno Mars’ album, released on Oct 6 under the title of the introduction track and only single before the album’s release The album, containing only nine songs and totaling 33 minutes in length, is similar in style to Mars’s popular previous albums, “Doo-Wops and Hooligans” (2010) and “Unorthodox Jukebox” (2012). However, Mars manages to inject genres and inspirations that have slowly faded over time.
Opening his albums with singles is a familiar tactic for Mars, however it served to hurt the album more than it helped. “24k Magic” resembles more of the funk-revivalism he is known for, soulful vocals backed by a synthesizer playing ecstatically. The style possibly led listeners to assume that the style of the single was the general sound of the album. While some of the tracks sprinkle some of these elements into the other eight tracks, “24K Magic” stands alone as the only single and most recent-sounding track.
After that point, the album shakes much of its modern influence, and even travels back to the 60’s with the upbeat “Perm” where Mars makes an impressive imitation of James Brown, inspiring many to go back and listen to music by the Founders of Funk he imitates, noting another piece of the formula that launched Mars’s music career; his ability to either infuse or imitate older genres for a present-day audience is like none other.
“Finesse” and “Versace on the Floor” are slow-jams that will send any Boyz II Men fans swooning and seriously hit a nerve with younger listeners. Why do these track sound so familiar? The couplet is imitating the R&B filled mid-to-late 80’s.
Due to the fact that Mars refused to sugar-coat the production like that of previous hits such as, “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Uptown Funk”, which did attract many listeners, this album has not received as much enthusiasm.
Throughout the album, Mars’ lyrical topics are entirely one-dimensional, based around clubbing, insincere romance, money, and what he buys with it. The last two are somewhat givens, considering the title of the album itself is 24 Karat Magic–99.99% gold “magic” –or the apparent magical effect wealth has in persuading people. The album title serves as “buyer beware” moment more than anything else.