With this album, Bruno wanted to recreate the nostalgia of the school dances he attended in the nineties. And he MORE than did that by sampling grooves for New Jack Swing’s greatest hit makers. There’s a little bit of everyone from Boyz II Men to R. Kelly, to Bell BIv Devoe on this album. In fact, Bruno even threw in a little hip-hop infused James Brown on “Perm.”
But where he’s strong in production (I actually think this album was a little over produced), he’s lacking in lyrical content. Maybe he meant for the lyrics to be hilarious. Afterall, pretty much every song that came out of 90s r&b has a tinge of ridiculous in it. But I found myself getting pulled out of my enjoyment of most songs by the lyrics that were just…just (see “Versace on the Floor”).
I think my real issue here is that I have no idea who Bruno Mars is as an artist. When he was churning out ballads perfect for spring wedding first dances, I loved it. When he was giving us Prince and Morris and Parliament I thought it was great. Now we’ve got him dressed like an extra from a Hi-Five video singing knock off Silk songs, and I’m still not mad at it. Because at the end of the day he’s got an amazing voice and he’s a showman. BUT, I have no idea who he is. And this makes it hard for me to connect to him, to become a true fan. Because I have no idea what I’m going to get.
With that said, I’m not going to dock him any points for being a faceless chameleon. But I will bring his score down a few notches for the lazy song writing.