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Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox Refuse to Pick a Lane

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downloadArtist:  Bruno Mars

Album title: Unorthodox Jukebox

Non-Airable tracks: Gorilla, Moonshine, Money Makes her Smile, Natalie, Show me.

Record Label: Atlantic Records

Continuing in his upward spiral, Bruno Mars strikes again with his 2nd studio album, “Unorthodox Jukebox”, released December 7, 2012, incorporating his well-known influences of pop-soul, reggae-rock and jazz into his music, giving it a fun and funky vibe. Since its release, “Unorthodox Jukebox” has received much critical feedback for its musical style noticeable explicitness.

After an unsuccessful shot at Motown Records, Mars signed with Atlantic records and began his singing career as a solo artist, lending vocals to songs such as “Nothin on you” by B.O.B and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy. Growing up in a musical family, Mars, one of six children, has been exposed to R&B, reggae and pop music all his life which have inspired his later albums.

Compared to his first studio album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans”, Mars provides more musical variation with this album and states that he refuses to “pick a lane” and that he will write his music for himself. Songs from his previous album such as “Just the Way You Are” and “Marry You” with their pop and R&B influence contrast greatly with songs such as “Gorilla” and “Natalie” from his new album which contain contrasting styles and explicit content. “Gorilla” was the first song written for the album which Mars has described as “setting the tone of the project” with its 80’s rock feel fused with power pop which critics have claimed to love. Even though critics have praised this song for its musical qualities, it has been bashed for its explicit lyrical content.

However, despite the controversy, fans love him just the same. “Locked out of Heaven,” his hit single on the new album, provides a new wave, reggae feel, conveying feelings of a positive relationship accompanied with good sex. In contrast, the second hit single, “When I Was Your Man,” is a soft rock, pop piano ballad about heartbreak and his helplessness within the situation.  Both hits topped the charts and experienced mainstream success.

To have an artist out there who doesn’t cave into the expectations of the record labels is exactly what we need. Musical talent should never be tamed for the satisfaction of anyone but the musician. His ability to perform different styles of music with different meaning and content is impressive and exciting. Who knows what he will come up with for his next album! Mars successful collaboration of styles will be sure to pull fans back again and again.

 Recommended tracks: Locked out of Heaven 4.5/5, Treasure 4 /5, Young girls 2/2.5

Sounds like: Jason Mraz, Michael Jackson, Prince.

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Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox Refuse to Pick a Lane