Bruno Mars is talented, there’s no doubt about that. But for some he is a bit of a bitter pill to swallow. The pop stylings on his debut album, 2010’s Doo-Wops & Hooligans, and the GRAMMY-winning Unorthodox Jukebox in 2012, housed arguably some of the best non-rap tunes around, but was cloaked in chart-topping, Top 40 tracks.
Then came “Uptown Funk.” Yes, Trinidad James will forever be indebted to Bruno and Mark Ronson, but there was something about that song that felt a bit… different. It turned out to be his most successful single to date, and ultimately the inspiration for his third album, 24K Magic.
What “Uptown Funk” started, 24K Magic continues. It isn’t a contemporary R&B album in the slightest: it is a throwback to soul and psychedelia, mixed with some New Jack Swing to boot.
The album’s title track and “Chunky?” Straight grooves. “Versace On The Floor?” So much Video Soul in it Donnie Simpson would be proud. And when “Finesse” hits? It’s hard to try not to recreate Bobby Brown’s dance moves in “Every Little Step.”
Stream the entire LP below, and cop a copy on iTunes.