24 K Magic: Certified Awesome
Doo-whops and Hooligans and Unorthodox Jukebox showcased the emergence of something special.
They’re albums that have cemented Bruno Mars’ career with compilations of hit songs including ‘Just the Way You Are,’ ‘Marry You,’ and ‘Locked Out of Heaven.’ Other songs such as his collaboration with Mark Ronson on the world-wide phenomenon ‘Uptown Funk’ have created a funk pop rhythm that has a little Michael Jackson-Prince style and maybe just a touch of the Godfather of Soul. But after the release of mixed reviews of his second album, Bruno Mars and his creative team hit the ground running with their latest sound: 24 K Magic.
Unlike other the singer’s records which have shown off the emotional vocals and pop-soul roots, the track listing of this album somewhat surprised by its creative direction. Listening to the words, it appears it has started down that road populated by those hip hop and rap artists who shout out very ‘me’ centred self-glorified songs about how rich and famous they are.
But then, if you double back a moment, you realise this album’s not quite the same. 24 K Magic is no doubt very conscious of needing to promote its image. Yet the yard’s full of successful artists. There can’t be much room to move. Bruno Mars has the talent, I’m sold on that, but he fights that never-ending battle to stay fresh, young and hip.
With this in mind, the songs on this album are hot and sizzle with the kind of immortality that music legends have earned through songs that inspired generations like MJ’s ‘Come Together’ rock cover, Prince’s ‘Purple Rain,’ Elvis’ ‘All Shook Up’ and Jesse J’s ‘Price Tag.’
Among the great songs, there are four which really stand out. One of the greatest is, without a doubt, the sweet dance rhythms of the title track, ‘24 K Magic’. Fans have to watch the official music video to fully appreciate. Next in line is ‘That’s What I like,’ with grooves and hooks that pull you further in and comes with a music video that is all out on point with the dance moves.
‘Versace on the Floor’ was a pleasant surprise and is probably the best of the lot. Its immediate feelings are something like Marvin Gay’s ‘Sexual Healing’ mixed with a bit of r&b soul and reimagined for new audiences. Another song that trickles gold is ‘Straight Up and Down.’ It took me right back to classic 90s r&b like Boys II Men and Babyface that were the soundtrack of a generation.