Hawaiian-born Bruno Mars, AKA Peter Hernandez, has been a rising star for some time. A successful songwriter, he has written songs for Adam Levine, Travie McCoy, Sugababes, and most-recently penned the worldwide smash by Cee-Lo Green “F*ck You”.
He was first credited on B.O.B.’s “Nothin On You” back in Feburary 2010, closely followed by a feature on Travie McCoy’s “Billionare”.
October 2010 saw the release of Bruno Mars’ debut album “Doo Wops & Hooligans”, backed by a phenomenally successful (and saccharine) first single “Just The Way You Are”. Credible second single “Grenade” is followed by a pretty disturbing song about first-time sex (“Our First Time”).
After this, the album lopes along in easy listening mode until electro-soul number “The Other Side” (feat Cee-Lo Green) crashes in. This is the standout track, partly because it’s the best-crafted song on the album, and partly because it sounds so different.
On first listen, “Doo Wops & Hooligans” sounds rushed, with only a handful of truly great tracks that have already been released as singles. Mars himself claims that he wanted the album to appeal to everyone, and that’s where it falls down – if anything the sound is too vanilla. The obvious musical comparisons are with reggae-lite artists like Jason Mraz and the sweet pop soul of early Michael Jackson.
A more-focussed second album should help propel Bruno Mars into true stardom.
If you don’t buy the album, download: Grenade, Just The Way You Are, The Other Side.