I’m such a trailblazer aren’t I? Only two short months after everyone else on the planet decided to like this song, I’m finally on board. Not that it should have been a struggle, Bruno Mars after all was responsible for several of the biggest airplay hits in 2011.
I still love “Just the way you are” for all its schmaltz, “Grenade” for its melodramatic heartache, and “The Lazy Song” for its insane catchiness and relatable content (I don’t know how to “duggie” though).
So why the reticence to like his big comeback single? I suppose he’s a different brand now. I thought he was this housewives favourite radio staple, but it’s clear that his interests lie in a more retro sound, and I wondered if perhaps this comeback would go in a less palatable direction (for me).
The result was something different indeed, I think I felt it was more Marley influenced, or just cooler to be honest. I don’t do well with critical acclaim. I never really liked Bob Marley, and this had the distinct whiff of reggae underneath it (and maybe a bong). I did get hooked by that “eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh UHHHH” sample for some reason, but the vocals sort of washed over me.
But now it’s clicked, and despite a first verse that reminds me of a bit of “Crying at the discotheque” by Alcazar (which I have no doubt that nobody involved with this song had ever heard of, just one of those weird things), it’s got a strange freshness to it. I like the brushes with synths in the choruses, and that “woop woop woop” sound effect thing that keeps escalating through the chorus.
I can’t sing along to this at all, putting it at a distinct disadvantage against his other hits, but it’s just got that sense of climax (easy…) in the whole song, and of course his voice is really easy to listen to. That 3D-esque video is quietly effective and lends the same sort of energy to the track that the production does.
I think it’s a case of lots of little things adding up to something much better than the sum of its parts. I’m still cautious about his second album “Unorthodox Jukebox”, from which this is the only single I’ve heard so far. “Doo-wops and Hooligans”, aside from its awful name was equally cursed and blessed with great singles but some utter dogshit filler tracks (like “Count on me”).
But I’m sure you’ll hear about it from me soon enough, if you haven’t owned the album for months already…