Release Date: Oct 5, 2010
Record label: Elektra
Until about two weeks ago, Bruno Mars could have called his auto-biography Almost Famous. The 24-year-old Hawaiian had his name on two pop smashes — B.o.B’s ”Nothin’ on You” and Travie McCoy’s ”Billionaire,” both of which he co-wrote, co-?produced, and sang on — but little of the press attention that often follows those who top the pop charts. One arrest (in Las Vegas, for drug possession) and one No.
Twenty-five year old Bruno Mars has had as successful a 2010 as possibly any other musician, and he came out of virtually nowhere. He could be considered the Steve Nash of the music industry, throwing up assists with writing and lending vocals on some of the biggest tracks of the year. “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy, “Nothin’ on You” from B.o.B, and “Fuck You” off the new Cee-Lo disc have all been ultimately successful songs this year, and Bruno Mars has had his hand in all of them.
Bruno Mars was riding high when his first album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, was released in late 2010. He was also writing songs as part of the successful production team the Smeezingtons, and doing some hook singing (for huge hits by Travie McCoy and B.o.B.), Mars seemed to dominate the radio and charts. Indeed the first single from the album, the lushly romantic "Just the Way You Are," was topping the singles chart.
The title of Bruno Mars’s debut, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which at 35 minutes barely qualifies as a long-player and yet still manages to wear out its welcome about halfway through, is the first indication of just how calculated the album is to please just about everybody: part sweet, part sassy, with both halves too safe to be concerned about. It could be that Mars, a somewhat in-demand songwriter before this year saw his star rise, saved his best juvenile-delinquent impulses for collaborator Cee Lo’s frat house-pleasing, Stax-n-Effect anthem “Fuck You,” which he co-wrote. To borrow a phrase from that song, “Fuck You” is an imperfect but endearing Atari (one you’ll tire of once the novelty has worn off), whereas Mars’s debut is a sleek, polished Xbox.
The path from star producer to pop phenomenon is traditionally a tricky one to navigate, but no one seems to have told 25-year-old Hawaiian Bruno Mars. He currently sits at No 1 in the UK singles chart with Grenade. Its predecessor, Just the Way You Are, somehow contrived to reach No 1 twice: the second time replacing Cee Lo Green's Fuck You, one of a multitude of hits Mars co-wrote and produced before his own career as a teen heart-throb kicked off.
One-third of the Smeezingtons, the production group behind K'naan's Wavin' Flag and Cee Lo Green's Fuck You (among others), Bruno Mars leapt into the spotlight this summer and scored his own number-one hit with the soft rock ballad Just The Way You Are. [rssbreak] As the title suggests, his debut LP favours smooth harmonies and easy-breezy pop melodies delivered by Mars in his boyish, R&B falsetto. The word "lightweight" was invented for records like this - ones that nail a commercial formula but are utterly devoid of heat, emotion or compelling personality.
Mars’ solo debut is geared for maximum appeal Mike Diver 2011 Every day, life presents us with puzzling posers. Why did the Crazy Frog have a penis? It makes no sense. Others are far easier to tackle. Recently, the music press asked, for roughly the nth time: is rock dead? The foundation for said inquisition: rock tracks accounted for only three of the UK’s 100 top-selling singles of 2010.