Jul 30, 2013
Bruno Mars: 10 Best Songs
By Ben York
Posted: July 30, 2013
As its title suggests, “UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX” once again sees Mars melding a multitude of musical approaches to create his own distinctive sound. Executive produced by The Smeezingtons, the hit-making production team comprised of Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine, the collection also features contributions from such top producers as Jeff Bhasker (fun., Kanye West, Jay-Z), Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Lil Wayne, Black Lips) and Diplo (M.I.A, Usher).
That unique, popular sound makes its way to US Airways Center on July 31 with special guest Ellie Goulding.
10. "Just the Way You Are"
"When you’re going for soulful and come off sounding more like the records Rod Stewart made in the early ’80s than the classics he made in the early ’70s, you may be doing something wrong. But channeling the wrong Rod Stewart didn’t stop this song from launching Mars into the stratosphere; it topped Billboard’s Hot 100 for four straight weeks, won a Grammy and went five-times-platinum. It’s not a cover of the Billy Joel song of the same name, but the lyrics do cover a lot of the same ground."
7. "Locked Out of Heaven"
"There’s nothing especially subtle about the first single released from “Unorthodox Jukebox” — from the way it leaves its fingerprints all over the Police’s early records to the way he sings the praises of his latest conquest (“ ’Cause your sex takes me to paradise”). A triple-platinum smash, it spent a six-week run at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. And that debt to the Police was made even more obvious at this year’s Grammy telecast when Sting came out to join him on a medley of this and the Police’s “Walking On The Moon.”
"This throwback to the early ’80s dance floor brings the smooth funk like Kool & the Gang unsure of whether Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” or anything by Chic would be a better source of inspiration. It’s sleek, it’s melodic, it’s flawless. And if anyone mistakes it for originality, that’s kind of sad. But in the meantime, you should definitely party like it’s 1982. And you can also hear a little Prince in there — without the kinky sex or awe-inspiring guitar. The third single released from “Unorthodox Jukebox,” it’s still climbing Billboard’s Hot 100 — No. 5 with a bullet for the week ending Saturday, Aug. 3."
2. "It Will Rain"
"Recorded for the soundtrack to “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” this tortured ballad also speaks to Mars’ fascination with Rod Stewart’s early ’80s work. But this is such a better song than “Just the Way You Are” that it doesn’t matter. He sets the tone here with an aching delivery of “If you ever leave me, baby/Leave some morphine at my door/’Cause it would take a whole lot of medication/To realize what we used to have, we don't have it anymore.” And the chorus hook is soulful gold. This one peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 while selling enough to be certified triple-platinum."