Mars thinks outside the box with ‘Unorthodox’

Joe Llorin, Features Editor

When Bruno Mars first entered prominence thanks to B.O.B.’s 2010 smash hit “Nothin’ on You,” it was clear to both artists and fans that he would be a powerful force to be dealt with- and this speculation was justified. Later that year, Mars released his debut album, “Doo-Wops and Hooligans,” which went on to reach platinum status in the U.S. and the album was nominated for a total of seven Grammys. With the success of his first album, expectations were high for his second, entitled “Unorthodox Jukebox,” which was released to the public on Dec. 4.

The album kicks off with “Young Girls,” a rather immature song that features lyrics dedicated to Mars’ rolling stone lifestyle sprinkled atop his soothing, sultry vocals that fans have fallen in love with over the years. The song features computer generated effects, a steady drum beat comparative to that of “Marry You” off of his previous album and a child-like, playful melody reminiscent of older material like “The Lazy Song.”

“Locked out of Heaven,” the album’s leading single gives the album an edgy, vintage rocky sound that fans got only a taste of from his previous album. The song features an 80s-esque guitar sound that is reminiscent of such artists like The Police and The Cars. The track is an excellent example of Mars’ growth as a musician, breaking away from mainstream pop and into his own sound. Fans can agree that the song combines several elements of Mars’ craft- rock, pop, reggae and just a dash of soul.

Another sure hit on the album is “Treasure,” a song that isn’t anything like the Bruno Mars you’ve heard in the past. The song sounds like something straight off of an Earth, Wind and Fire record. With a dance-like beat atop the funky, jazzy guitar work and bass line, the song is nothing short of a work of art.

Overall, the album has its hits and its equal amount of misses. Compared to his previous album “Doo-Wops,” the songs on “Unorthodox Jukebox” sound strange and may turn off a few fans, but the album is yet another look into the man that is Bruno Mars. With different types of genres implemented in the album, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” like the title insists, is a strange album at the least but it’ll have your head bobbin’ at times and a few songs will be stuck in your head.

Rating: 3/5