Bruno Mars is undoubtedly one of today’s best songwriters and vocalists, with his soulful approach to music, Unorthodox Jukebox has songs that are just waiting to be hits. Mars’ second album showcases his influences in music: from reggae like sounds in “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Show Me“, to the dance “Money Make Her Smile“, to Michael Jackson’s pop-esque sound in “Treasure” to the soulful piano in “When I Was Your Man“, Bruno’s unorthodox array of songs compiled into this album make it a gem in this years releases.
Main themes of the album include love and sex, the latter one making up pretty much most of the album without making it off-putting. If anything, it was a bold move on behalf of Mars to sing a song like “Gorilla” in which at first, I did not grasp the lyrics, until I read them and found out what it was about: Mars singing about making love like gorillas under the influence of cocaine and in a turn out of events even the cops end up showing up. This is what makes Bruno Mars such a vital contributor of pop nowadays, he can actually craft a song like “Gorilla” and make it enjoyable without being off-putting or gross, and not only that, catchy. When it comes to hooks, Mars is the go-to man in pop.
From the moment the album opens with “Young Girls“, Bruno Mars sings about how fame has made him realize that love doesn’t exist, instead he spends his money chasing after young girls, even though this would lead him nowhere. This is followed by the hit single “Locked Out Of Heaven“, which sounds like The Police’s “Roxanne“, and differences or similarities aside, it is still great and in my opinion Mars best song on the album. “Gorilla” is up next with it’s lyrics that go like this: “I promise is a killer, you’ll be banging on my chest/Bang bang, gorilla”. The funky “Treasure” is up next with an 80’s vibe that is guaranteed to make anyone want to dance the moment they hear the song, followed by the R&B-esque “Moonshine“. One of my favorite songs in the whole album, the piano ballad “When I Was Your Man“, in which Mars pours his soul and realizes the woman he once had. However, Mars quickly moves on from the somber mood in “When I Was Your Man” to the hand-clapping “Natalie” in which he sings about a “gold-digging b*tch”. Reggae finds it’s way on this album from the Hawaii native with “Show Me” followed by the dance-y “Money Make Her Smile“. Last but not least, “If I Knew” closes the album in a very doo-wop way that Mars loves to do.
Unlike other artists that usually have one feature in the album, this is solely Bruno Mars’ work seen in almost every genre that has influenced him. A bold decision on Mars’ behalf to try with each genre, but at the end it is clear that it was all successful because Unorthodox Jukebox is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Tyler, The Creator might want to stab Bruno Mars in his esophagus, but truth to be told, let’s hope that never happens because Mars needs to keep on making great music.