Initially I wasn’t much of a fan of Bruno Mars. I thought his music was too cheesy, but over time he grew on me and his sound matured. There was no denying that he was born to be a performer. He just has “it”, and that’s transferred into a large slew of hits over the years, with maybe his biggest one of all, “UpTown Funk!”, taking over the entirety of 2015. Like really, that song was being played EVERYWHERE. It’s flavor of nostalgic funk meshed perfectly with Mars’ immense presence and already old school sensibilities, making it too good to resist. It’s a sound he’s seemed to fall in love with as he’s dedicated an entire album, 24k Magic, to try to catch that feeling again.
“Throw some perm on your attitude
Girl you gotta relax, ooh
Let me show you what you got to do
You gotta lay it back
Matter of fact? Band, show her how to lay it back!”
24k Magic is pure old school funk/R&B nostalgia from front to back. The titular single kicks the nostalgia off with a funk filled ride that’s very reminiscent in ways to the smash hit “UpTown Funk!”; it’s definitely meant to get people on the dance floor. “Perm” is pure funk, full of call and response moments, and breakdowns that would make James Brown proud. “Versace On The Floor” is 80’s era R&B, I can picture Mars now with a perm and blouse blowing in the wind. This stroll down memory lane doesn’t let up through the whole project, but it does it without feeling like some cheap imitation but instead as proper songs that could stand with any of the classics of the time.
“Ooh, don’t we look good together?
There’s a reason why they watch all night long
Yeah, know we’ll turn heads forever
So tonight I’m gonna show you off”
The thing that’s most impressive about 24k Magic is just how at home Bruno sounds on all of the songs. I’ve always known he’s had a special affinity for the old school but he fully embodies that sound and that spirit of the era he’s working in, whether that’s in 70’s funk or 80’s/early 90’s R&B, he absolutely kills it. I’ll never question his immense talent ever again, his ability to transform to any genre or era of music is unparalleled.
Have you heard 24k Magic? What’d you think about it? Did you love the old school, nostalgic vibes like I did? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your rating for the album.
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