Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops and Hooligans

"[H]is debut album, 'Doo-Wops and Hooligans' ... has already spawned two No. 1 singles, 'Just the Way You Are' and 'Grenade,' which is still at No. 1. Mars has an easily marketed wholesome feel that predates much of pop itself -- he evokes, both physically and tonally, Jackie Wilson, the sixties pop star who inspired Michael Jackson perhaps more than any other performer. ... Although Wilson, unlike Mars, conveyed pain and joy in even his most anodyne numbers, he had the same kind of permanent approachability that Mars exudes. There is little threat or discontent in Mars, or in his work, and it's no surprise to learn that he spent his childhood impersonating Elvis, in a Waikiki hotel, in a family band called the Love Notes. Mars describes the outfit as 'straight Partridge family.' ... Mars's current ubiquity is unremarkable -- he's a light, dashing figure who can write melodies that lodge quickly and repeat painlessly" (Sasha Frere-Jones, "Pop Music," New Yorker, 2/14&21/11).
View catalog record here!


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