Rating: **** out of 5
Key Tracks: Grenade, The Other Side, Marry You
Co-writing and singing on Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire” and B.o.B’s “Nothing on You” and dishing out his much-loved single “Just the Way You Are,” Bruno Mars has been having a great year.But producing and writing just wasn’t enough for the Hawaiian born Peter Hernandez; he has now come out with his own pop album, seemingly custom designed to fit into modern radio stations and a wide range of charts.
Mars said, “On this album, I have records that women are going to relate to and men are going to relate to. So doo-wops are for the girls, and hooligans are for the guys.” Filled with simplicity, innocence, and a touch of genius, Doo-Wops and Hooligans is a blend of tribal drums, reggae tones, serenades, and club anthems. As we already know from the platinum single “Just The Way You Are,” Mars knows exactly what to say to make each and every woman who hears it swoon and wish that the song was written for her.
Listening to his collection of broken-hearted love songs and watching his dimpled face on a television screen, no one would have guessed that Mars was arrested for cocaine possession earlier this year. But his darker, bad boy side is extremely evident in the “hooligan” songs on the album such as his bro-joke on Runaway Baby, “Even though they eatin’ out the palm of my hand / There’s only one carrot and they all gotta share it.” He playfully sings in his happy-go-lucky way about catching grenades, getting pissed in bars, and having spontaneous drunken weddings, disguising the darkness by mixing it in with the peppiest of tunes, tambourines, and distant wedding bells.
But the song that brings out the most hooligan in him is the last track, “The Other Side.” Perhaps he was thinking along the lines of “save the best for the last” when he wrote this Gorrilaz meets Adam Levigne up-tempo track. It features both Cee Lo and B.o.B., two artists with whom he has acheived mega-success with past collaborations.
So by seducing the ladies and pumping up the guys to seduce the ladies, Mars has a well planned out series of easy listening, sing-a-long, and contagious hits. His work seems effortless, and he casually masters reggae, pop, and rock on the album, surfing through different genres like a natural. It cannot be pure chance on which Bruno Mars is counting, but this guy seems to have a serious plan for capturing the hearts of all his listeners as well as securing spots on the weekly top ten. From co-writing Flo Rida’s mega hit “Right Round” to K’naan’s “Wavin Flag,” it’s been a straight road to the top for the recently turned 25-year-old.So to all you doo-wops and hooligans, I highly recommend you go get this album; it’s a delight.