Bruno Mars
24K Magic


4.0
excellent

Review

by Micha? Lach USER (5 Reviews)
January 14th, 2019 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tonight I just want to take you higher Throw your hands up in the sky Let's set this party off right

Bruno Mars is undeniably one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. He had already been one back in 2016 before the release of his third album. Two previous ones were massively successful, selling in millions of copies, the whole world knows some of his biggest hits. What could have been Bruno's next step? He had two options - either play it safe (it wouldn't have been a failure anyway) or take a gamble and put together a record like not many others in mainstream music nowadays. Mars chose the second option, which resulted in ‘24K Magic'

So, what was this second option about? Well, it was an album inspired by the music from the 80s and (as he mentioned the most)90s. To be honest, inspiration is quite an understatement, because this record literally sounds like it could have been released 25-30 years ago. It looks like quite a big risk, however, Mars knew exactly what he was doing. Firstly, he had already flirted heavily with retro-inspired sounds on ‘Unorthodox Jukebox' (this record didn't have one main musical direction though, as it jumped from rock to disco). Secondly, vintage formula was key to the success of ‘Uptown Funk', which remains one of the most popular singles pf this decade . Its funky, retro-styled character showed just how well this type of music suited Bruno. It allowed him to show off his already well-known charisma, with which he infected his third album as well.

The title track sets the tone for the majority of the record. Opening with a intro modified on a voicecoder, it jumps straight into a middle of a party, which continues for the most of the next 33 minutes. Mars cooperated with a bunch of producers to create a record musically polished to the last details. Production is simply superb, with each track having its own character and aspects worth appreciating. Most of the songs rely on electronic effects, with synthesizers often being used. ‘Perm’ and ‘Too Good To Say Goodbye' are more organic, the first one deserves a shoutout for its funky guitar, great inserts on trumpets and fast rhythm. ‘Chunky', on the other hand, has a harder, synthetic beat, with a bass guitar in the background giving the song its groovy vibe. ‘That's What I Like’ is a catchy R&B song with a characteristic rhythm section. ‘Versace On The Floor’ turns out to be a sensual ballad, where some nice choirs and a beautiful keyboard set the mood perfectly.

Vocally this album deserves all the praises it received. Bruno's voice is given many opportunities to shine brightly and rightfully so. It is very powerful and well capable of conveying emotions of the song, especially on ‘Versace On The Floor’. Smooth, tempting verses conclude with a dramatic final chorus, where he lets himself loose and shows his full singing potential. High notes aren't much of a problem either, as he reaches effortlessly almost falsetto-kind of notes on ‘Calling All My Lovelies' and ‘That's What I Like'. Moreover, even without such fireworks, Mars' vocal is simply pleasant to listen to, as you can actually hear, how much fun he is having singing those tunes (especially on ‘24K Magic' and ‘Finesse’).

Lyrics are the most problematic part of this album. As you may expect, they concentrate on (mostly brief) relationships. Although it's not necessarily bad, some of the lines might be considered as one of the cheesiest in recent popular music (which is quite an achievement). To name two examples: ‘your booty deserve a celebration and I’m gonna celebrate it all night long' (‘Calling All My Lovelies’) and my favourite one: ‘you and your ass invited, so gon' and get to clappin'(‘That’s What I Like’). Obviously no one expects such songs to be lyrical masterpieces, however, ‘Too Good To Say Goodbye' doesn't even come close to the emotional power of ‘When I Was Your Man'. Some may find beauty in its simplicity, to me it is rather a letdown (although vocals and music are great). It's not all bad though, ‘Versace On The Floor' (apart from its title, obviously, which is rather laughable) has a great, sensual tension, and it's all thanks to its lyrics, which focus on the physical, yet still romantic side of love.

So, putting all this together - ‘24K Magic' is an fabulous album. It stands well as a tribute to the sound of the past decades, but most essentially as a quality pop record itself. It was chosen as The Album Of The Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards and received accolades in 6 different categories (including 3 of them for ‘That's What I Like’ and ‘24K Magic'), which was somewhat controversial at the time. Sure, it’s not the most ambitious album in the music history, but it never tried to be one. Instead, it is a top-quality pop record from an artist with a desire to develop his sound with every new release. And, what's most important, he knows damn well, how to entartain his listeners.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
January 15th 2019


27395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not enough riffs

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2019


18368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album, agreed

Shredgazmo
January 15th 2019


41 Comments


Long review man, this guy owes a lot to Mark Ronson for his popularity

Lachu228
January 15th 2019


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sure he does, but his first two albums had already made him a superstar.

Lachu228
January 15th 2019


7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pizzamachime, what do you mean not enough riffs? And why such a low rating?

WatchItExplode
January 15th 2019


10480 Comments


Yes, explain yourself pizza person...

Sowing
Moderator
January 16th 2019


44143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

His best album by far, love this

Kompys2000
Emeritus
January 16th 2019


9489 Comments


wtf this doesn't even djent

nol
January 16th 2019


12280 Comments


Audible dessert. yum as fuck.

veninblazer
January 16th 2019


16839 Comments


get that 1 off my screen @pizza

Funeralopolis
January 16th 2019


14586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album rules yea

nol
January 16th 2019


12280 Comments


Record is just fucking tops at keeping the listener engaged. Not one second of this is musically uninteresting.

GhostB1rd
January 16th 2019


7938 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Gayest shit released that year.

nol
January 17th 2019


12280 Comments


Whatever year you were born, u were the gayest shit released that year

pizzamachine
January 17th 2019


27395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Lachu228: cause 1

@AgentDeathBat: ⛄️

Hawks
January 17th 2019


90689 Comments


Bruno Men

alamo
January 17th 2019


5640 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

calling all my lovelies

cause i cant get a hold of y0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000u

nol
January 17th 2019


12280 Comments


PICK UP THE PHONE, PICK UP THE PHONE, CUZ ALL THIS LOVING -
*BUUNG!*
NEEDS A HOOOOOOOOOOME AHHHHH OH OH OHHHH OHOH



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