24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Just in case you weren’t aware that Bruno Mars was the coolest man on the planet, the walking God amongst us has released a further 33 minutes of proof that his shit don’t stink. 24K Magic is oozing with glam-funk and sex-appeal and, much like its title would suggest, is worth its weight in gold.
It’s effortlessly cool. As you slowly relax into the excessive grooves, you get the impression Mars just moon-walked into the studio, simply clicked his fingers, and sat back to watch 24K Magic unfold in front of him. Wrapped up in a dreamy combination of countless genres, it’s an inspired invocation of all things early 90s R&B; you’re almost waiting for Boyz ii Men to make a guest appearance- instead you get Halle Berry with the most suave voicemail ever recorded.
Most importantly, it isn’t hindered by its own ambitions. Whilst the more traditional poppy elements of Doo-Wops & Hooligans were necessary to promote Mars to international stardom, and the safer sounds of Unorthodox Jukebox was essential in keeping him there, 24K Magic feels like Mars is finally producing the type and quality of music he has always wanted to make. This lack of restraint culminates in a diverse range of instrumentation, ceaseless variations of impeccable beats, and unbridled vocal energy. As always, Mars is vocally flawless, his performance in ‘Perm’ is so reminiscent of James Brown it’s frightening.
While some have accused Mars of simply recycling themes from a music scene long gone to feed our insatiable appetite for nostalgia, we should be praising his ability to constantly renew and reinvigorate and show that style means nothing without substance.
It’s a shame the album is so short, because as soon as you’ve got yourself strapped on you dancing shoes the record’s already over. But it’s such an energetic listen that perhaps it’s for the best that Mars gives our feet a rest before we collapse into a ball of sufficiently satisfied customers, safe in the knowledge that we will never be as cool as Bruno.