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Weak Debut From A Singer Capable Of More
on October 6, 2010
Using a hook singer to push a single is nothing new in the hip hop genre, some time the results are successful, such as the classic Ghostface Killah & Carl Thomas song Never Be The Same of disastrous the Lloyd Banks & Musiq Soulchild track Addicted from Bank's second album . Last spring rising hip hop artist B.O.B. had a smash hit with the Bruno Mars assisted Nothing On You from B.O.B., Mars followed up that song with a equally successful single the Travie McCoy late summer hit Billionaire. On the heels of a possible jail sentence, we now have Bruno Mars debut album. Unlike hook singers Bruno decided to release his album while the iron was hot.
1. Grenade - This is a rock influenced song where Bruno's vocals seem to go with beat very naturally. Mr. Mars even sings some of the riffs similar to the late MJ. *** out of ****
2. Just The Way You Are - The lead single which is straight bubble gum pop. I'm a grown man so this song didn't really appeal to me but once again the vocals are good. *** out of ****
3. Our First Time - I was waiting for a slow jam from Mr. Mars and this is one of the few on the CD. The arrangement reminds me of something that Robin Thicke would do. **** out of ****.
4. Runaway Baby - As I soon as I heard the production on the song, I knew I wouldn't like it. Bruno gives one of his worst vocals on this track and it sounds like something Ricky Martin would have done back in 1999. * out of ****.
5. The Lazy Song - Listening to this track, I got the feeling Bruno just wanted to have a humorous song on his disc. Just as the title implies this is a lazy song. ** out of ****.
6. Marry You - I'm not really a rock fan but while listening to this song I did find myself tapping my feet and I could easily see this song being sung on an episode of Glee in a Will & Emma fantasy sequence. *** out of ****
7. Talking To The Moon - Finally we have a track on par with Our First Time. I could easily relate to the message in the song about being away from a loved one.
8. Liquor Store Blues (Feat. Damian Marley) - The production on this track was a little weak but the Damian Marley cameo saves it. *** out of ****.
9. Count On Me - Count Of Me is a folk inspired ballad similar to something Jason Marz might be. If he doesn't go to jail and with a great band backing him, this song will sound great live. ****
10. The Other Side (Feat Cee Lo Green & B.o.B) - The last song on the album gets some cool points since it's refreshing just to hear Cee Lo sing. *** out of ****
Overall this isn't a horrible debut album, it is a mediocre album. I thought for sure that Bruno would go for a straight R&B album with top notch production, instead he's given us a Jason Marz sounding album. Bruno has a naturally smooth falsetto voice and while he couldn't handle to other falsetto's singers like El Debarge or Ralph Tresvant, the weak production on this disc hurts Bruno more than it helps. Given that Bruno is a fan of doo-wop I have to wonder why he didn't enlist the production of Raphael Saadiq who had an amazing album with the Motown inspired The Way I See It . If Bruno wants to have a longer career in the music industry he'll need to come a little stronger next time or his career could end up like Nate Dogg's.