Bruno Mars

Fri, Dec 14, 2012, 00:00

Unorthodox Jukebox Atlantic ***

Bruno Mars (passport name Peter Hernandez) has become something of a pop phenomenon since his 2010 debut album, Doo-Wops Hooligans . Can all the people who bought six million copies of the album and 40 million copies of its singles be wrong? Well, yes, and no. Yes, in that there is absolutely nothing on the debut or this follow-up that you haven’t heard before. No, in that at least Mars’s appropriations of Tamla Motown and other well-trodden genres has a spring in its collective step. Songs such as Locked Out of Heaven, Gorilla, When I Was Your Man and If I Knew may be in serious hock to their sources, but Mars has a snappy way with rhythms and rhymes. No killer, then, but no filler, either.

Download: When I Was Your Man, Gorilla, If I Knew