Review Summary: Today I don't feel like doing anything, I'm just gonna bash in my head.
The above summary is how I feel whenever I hear Bruno Mars. I have to admit, when if first heard "Just The Way You Are" I kind of liked it. It was a nice change of pace to what I normally hear on the radio. But then, I kept hearing it over and over again, and I ended up hating the song with a passion. And that ruined the one of the few highlight songs on the album.
To be fair, Bruno Mars does have a unique take on pop music. He adds, as implied in the title, a doo-wop, swing sound, and in some cases reggae, to it that seems almost unique to the radio. But that unique sound is ruined by the fact that every single song sounds almost the exact same. "Our First Time" and "Liquor Store Blues" two of the more reggae songs have almost the same music and beat. If not for the guest appearance by Damien Marley in "Liquor Store Blues" the songs could easily be mistaken for each other. Speaking of the guest appearance by Damien Marley, that guest appearance and the appearances by Cee Lo Green and B.o.B. on the closer "The Other Side" are saving graces on the album, thanks to Bruno's whiny tenor voice that if listened to for long doses of time can get on your nerves and then eventually bore you to tears. It's so high pitched and whiny it can annoy you after the first two songs, where he uses his falsetto to raise his already high voice even higher.
The lyrics are an entirely different story. They're embarrassingly bad. Almost every cliché that can be thought of his used at some point on this CD. Take "Count On Me" for example. The lyrics are almost a complete rip off of The Plain White T's "1, 2, 3, 4,". Now first of all, the Plain White T's song was already filled with generic lyrics, and Bruno just adds more to it. "You can count on me like one, two, three/I'll be there and I know when I need it/I can count on you like four, three, two." There's the counting of "1, 2, 3, 4" with and added in "I'll be there" that I'm sure nobody has ever heard. Grenade is another example of a song that seems like Bruno just picked clichés out of a hat. "I'd catch a grenade for ya/Throw my hand on a blade for ya/I'd jump in front of a train for ya/You know I'd do anything for ya." He'd apparently do anything for her besides be original. And finally, easily the worst song on the album, "The Lazy Song." song about not doing anything besides dancing, having sex, getting naked for no good reason, and "throwing my hands in my pants." Bruno has a very interesting life.
If only Bruno could've taken his skill at creating catchy hooks and done something original. He obviously has potential, as is obvious from "The Other Side." People obviously like his style and his songs will be stuck in your head for days. If he expands on these talents and creates something that is unlike anything heard on the radio, he could be around to stay for a while. Whether that's a bad thing or not.