After assisting others with hits Bruno Mars decides to go for his own, be our guest.
Bruno Mars is a bit like Owen Wilson's character Hansel in 'Zoolander' he's got everyone saying 'He's so hot right now' and with good reason. Bruno Mars sung, and co-wrote two of the biggest songs that came out this year and are still on constant radio play. These are B.O.B's 'Nothing On You' and Travie Mcoy's 'Billionaire'. Songs that left both artists with plenty of spin and hype for their solo debuts to take off the ground. A hype that was well justified but would still be nothing without Mars' billionaire dollar sound, which is so 'frickin' good. So now with all the hype and attention that has come with those 2010 classics Bruno debuts his first solo LP 'Doo Wop's & Holligans', the perfect set of Summer lovin soul ditties drenched with some now trademark, beautiful acoustic guitar.
Bruno who knows how to turn a curse word laced song into a radio friendly hit (See 'Billionaire' or Cee-Lo Green's 'Forget You' (which remember isn't really called that)) might just be a marketing genius. After getting his name and his credibility as an artist out there with B.O.B. and Travie Mcoy Mars went on to release a teaser EP called, 'It's Better If You Don't Understand'. The short take previewed 'Doo Wop's' standout tracks, 'Count On Me' (a feel good classic), 'Talking To The Moon' (a gem), and 'The Other Side' (where Cee-Lo and B.O.B. return the favour with their guest spots). Now although the albums here now understand the EP released a couple of months back is still worth a cop as it features the brilliant, non-album track 'Somewhere In Brooklyn'.
'Doo Wop's' continues in the same vain as the EP. At 10 tracks long it's of unassuming quality and everything about the songs seems refreshed espeically in this modern world of diluted R&B. The albums opener 'Grenade' is a great concept song where Mars lamenting lost love croons, "What you don't understand is/I'd catch a grenade for ya/yeah, yeah, yeah/throw my hand on a blade for ya/yeah, yeah, yeah/I'd jump in front of train for ya/yeah, yeah, yeah/you know I'd do anything for ya".
After the albums opening explosion with 'Grenade' the soul after shocks reverberate through the rest of the album hitting everything. The cut 'Our First Time' starts like it was meant for the R&B side of Drake than takes it's own unique sound of it's own. A perfect song that you could listen to on a sunny day... Somewher in the Caribbean. A feeling which is furthered by the Damian Marley assisted 'Liquor Store Blues'. The track 'Just The Way You Are' is a sure fire hit that is a study of the type of song every girl wants to have written for them straight from the school of Ne-Yo. The pupil has learnt well. 'Runaway Baby' is another song that could be a big hit, a crossover creation that Maroon 5 would be proud of. A track that again displays Bruno's vocal, written and instrumental range and prowess.
Mars even drops the word 'Frickin' again on 'The Lazy Song' where he playfully pokes fun at his need for censorship on the radio, singing "Yeah I said it/I said it/I said it 'cause I can". Despite this Bruno still has the ability to sing about mature topics but still turn them into sure fire rewinds for his young fanbase. This is espeically evident on 'Marry You' which is a big step for Mars and sounds like matrimony from the very first note. A song that would make the perfect playlist partner for Tank's 'Wedding Song' or Jagged Edge's 'Let's Get Married', two down the aisle classics.
After his two co hits this year big things were expected from Bruno Mars and he doesn't disappoint his great expectations. Bruno not only creates a disc full of guaranteed pop hits, he also carves himself his own niche in pop and R&B much like Robin Thicke did but in a different way. Mars in less than a year establishes himself as one of the premiere, most sought after songwriters in the biz. This one man and his guitar will be around for some time releasing albums and doing even more collaborations. Bruno has the unique double threat talent of penning or singing hits for himself and others, much in the same way a Ne-Yo does, but don't get it twisted he is very much his own man. You can count on seeing Bruno Mars name in shining lights for quite some time. TIM DAVID HARVEY.