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NEETI SARKAR
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Bruno Mars- Unorthodox Jukebox

Virgin Records; Audio CD: Rs. 395/-

The second studio album by American recording artiste Bruno Mars, “Unorthodox Jukebox” was released at the end of 2012. Having co-written the album, this record sees Mars work with producers such as The Smeezingtons, Mark Ronson, Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Supa Dups, Diplo, Benny Blanco, and Paul Epworth.

The album kick starts with “Young Girls” where Bruno Mars indulges in the sin that he clearly acknowledges. Plastered with contradictions, the tuneful track is still a hit.

“Locked out of heaven” reeks of hedonism. Luckily for Mars, his tongue-in-cheek approach with the lyrics seems to work for his fans. The notable feature about the song is its reggae, rock and funky beat, all packed into one track.

Then comes “Gorilla”, the typical chauvinist sort of rendition. The lyrical description is more graphic and explicit than in the previous song, to say the least. It makes for a sequel to “Our first time” from his first studio album. As expected, Mars manages, almost effortlessly, to mask the libidinous lyrics with some good guitar work and heavy drumming.

“Treasure” is much like a preserved treasure from the 70s or the 80s. Spiked with disco beats, despite its umpteen sexual undertones, the harmony and hooks will have the listener hooked!

Following this is “Moonshine” which reminds you of some of Michael Jackson’s works. The mid tempo disco beats and the synths that have been thrown in, make it a theatrical track. Written by Jeff Bhasker, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, the production was handled by Bhasker, Ronson and The Smeezingtons.

“When I was your Man” is a melodic, nostalgic, soulful piano ballad. The song is about heartbreak as the artiste regrets letting a particular girl get away, yet hoping the new man in her life is giving her all the love he couldn’t give her when they were together. It’s quite a break from his typical lustful tracks on this album.

“Money Make her Smile” is rather irksome mostly because of the heavy electronic blips. With some gasping percussion, the only thing that’s noteworthy about this track is that Mars has tried to break new ground.

Other tracks on this album include the hand clap song “Natalie” and the breezy “Show Me”. The album ends with “If I knew” which is a personal favourite. He revisits familiar musical terrain but there’s not much to complain about especially because this song makes for a perfectly mellifluous album ender.

“Unorthodox Jukebox” deserves adulation for the inspiration Mars has drawn from some classics pop releases. His musical capabilities are inescapable. Production wise, it’s a winner. Overall, the album isn’t too bad but if you cannot as much as tolerate the innuendos of animal instincts, you aren’t going to love this album. Perhaps, once Bruno Mars gets over his wily women fixation, he might start making better music, lyrically at least.

NEETI SARKAR

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