“24K Magic” Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars

24K Magic Album Review

Atlantic

Released November 17, 2016

Genre: Funk, Synth Funk, Pop, R&B, New Jack Swing

A time to dance. That’s what this is. It’s a crazy world right now, with the election results causing everyone in the country to turn against each other. Right now we just need to dance. 24K Magic is the perfect dance album for the fall. I’ve always thought of Bruno Mars as a talented singer who always hopped on annoying songs. This one is different, it’s “not like the other boys.” Mars is COMMANDING on the entire album, singing with gusto over amazing pop tracks that hearken back to the 80s.

The album kicks off with the title track. The synthesizers dance underneath Bruno’s spoken delivery. The drums pop, especially when they have a trap interlude in the middle of the song, and the guitars are in the pocket. The 80s worship is so well done here and cheeky, with great lines like “known to give the color red the blues.” I’m glad that Bruno has taken a concept like bling and make it not corny past the year 2010. There’s nothing else to say, just a great dance tune that will work its magic on anyone. This might be the 2010s version of “Back That Azz Up,” a song that will make anyone dance.

Speaking of sexual posterior movement, the one-two-three punch combo of “Chunky,” “Perm” and “Versace on the Floor” are incredibly sexy. “Chunky” has such a multilayered synth part that each listen reveals new surprises. “Perm” is total James Brown worship, but completely ensures “Azz” shaking. “Versace on the Floor” is reminiscent of Luther Vandross slow jams but the influence is well-executed. Bruno has so much confidence on all of these tracks and it’s infectious.

Bruno actually takes a lot of influence from 80s styles of popular music, from R&B to new jack swing to synth funk. It’s amazing to hear him tackle these styles with finesse, like on the song “Finesse” which sounds like a Bell Biv Devoe track. The fact that so many songs sound like songs made by other artists is a LITTLE disappointing, as some fans would want Bruno to come through with a distinct sound. His voice is so distinct, simultaneously boyish and mature, that it compensates for the music. A more distinct sound, and a stronger closer than “Too Late To Say Goodbye,” would have made this album even more incredible. With all of that said, it is still a great time and has great replay value. It’s also only a half hour long so it isn’t boring in the slightest. Enjoy for nostalgia or for the spirit of the funk!

Best New Music

FAV TRACKS: 24k Magic, Chunky, Perm, Versace on the Floor

LEAST FAV TRACK: Too Late to Say Goodbye

Score: (8.9 / 10)

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