funk music

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Review: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

Posted by funkatop On November - 18 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Bruno Mars 24K Magic AlbumA couple of years ago, we were smitten with Bruno Mars release of Unorthodox Jukebox which we predicted would result in a wealth of hits. His new release of 24K Magic goes to the next level.

To start, Bruno Mars is not ashamed in the least about borrowing from the funk pioneers that led the way before him. Even though last year’s Uptown Funk was under the umbrella of Mark Ronson, it awoke a beast in Bruno Mars soul and 24K Magic is ultimately the continuance of that 80’s funk and 90’s ballad resurgence. Not mad.

The opening title track song (and first single) 24K Magic borrows heavily from Cameo keyboard funk right down to the chorus riff and he continues to borrow from his predecessors throughout the entirety of the album.

Even the collections’ two slower tracks called Versace On The Floor and the closing Too Good To Say Goodbye sound exactly like tracks that would have fallen off of a New Kids On The Block recording session.

The structure of the 24K Magic album has a very distinct fault line with the first 4 songs of the album being a decidedly obvious hat tip to late 80’s funk and the last 5 songs rehashing 90’s boy bands medium grooves and ballads.

While most online reviews we’ve seen have been harsh, we think it’s simply a few more funk songs short of perfect. If the previous releases of Uptown Funk, Locked Out Of heaven, and Treasure had been housed within this collection, the discussion would simply be how many awards he would scavenge for 2017.

For folks who love the nostalgia of the late 80 and early 90’s, this album is a great one. And even though it doesn’t feel filled up or complete, you can certainly expect to hear nearly all 9 of these songs on the radio waves over the next 6-9 months and you’ll almost certainly hear a few select cuts on FUNKEDUP and that’s no doubt.

So get ready for Bruno world again in 2017.

Review: Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox

Posted by funkatop On December - 14 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox coverBruno Mars career goes back many, many years all the way into his childhood as a kid performer doing Elvis impersonations in Hawaii for big tourist audiences. After high school, he headed to Los Angeles to start his musical endeavors which proved to be a rocky road. He landed a record deal with Motown, who then dropped him. Refusing to go back to Hawaii as a perceived failure, he went back at it and landed another deal with Atlantic in 2009 which struck gold with him and continues to do so with multiple chart toppers. Not to mention a string of production hits such as B.O.B.‘s Nothing On You, Billionaire with Travie McCoy among others.

Bruno Mars’ new album Unorthodox Jukebox is packed full of potential hits. The unusual opener Young Girls builds the listener into the feel for album’s upcoming out of the box classics. Bruno Mars states, “We took some master chefs into the kitchen with no master plan,” says Bruno Mars. “It was either going to be a disaster, or we were going to come out with something incredible. It turned into this soulful, experimental, electronic, hard-to-explain thing,..That’s the reason behind the album title.”

The second song on the album, Locked Out Of Heaven has already found a place on the charts and rightfully so with a mix of funky riffs, ambient bridges, and Jackson-esque ‘Ungh’s.

Romantic lingo and making girls swoon is what Bruno Mars does best and even though he states that he wouldn’t do any more ballads, he does bring out some horny, sex drenched tunes like Gorilla (“You and me baby, making love like gorillas” along with “give it to me mother f***er” – which is edited by the way). The closest song to a ballad on this album is a piano based song called When I Was Your Man which is a heartfelt song of lament for an ex-girlfriend that features lyrics that every woman wants to hear a man say after a relationship has ended badly (“all the things I should have done, when I was your man“).

Bruno MarsThe next hit of of this album will be Treasure which features disco thumping bass, NKOTB style background vocals, and even added early Prince sounding synthesizer riffs. This song has top 40 written all over it, so expect to hear it a million times on the airwaves in the coming months. You’ve been warned.

The rest of the album is built out with the various musical whims of Bruno Mars including the reggae Caribbean tune Show Me, the power pop song Natalie, the club thumper Money Make Her Smile, and the Motown sounding mid-tempo groove of If I Knew.

The album is littered with talent including production from Mark Ronson (Macy Gray, Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse), Jeff Bhasker (Fun.,Kanye West, Beyonce) , Emile Haynie (Eminem, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Fun.), Diplo (MIA, Beyonce and solo work) and Bruno Mars’ own production company The Smeezington’s.

Needless to say, this album is an amazing collective of brave risks that all pay off in a symbiotic orgasm of pop and funk. Our only complaint is the shortness of the album at only 10 tracks, but it’s a great 10 tracks and we give it a 4 out of 5 afros.