By Slick Nick
The first few months of a new year are usually trying times – it’s a struggle going back to work, the weather is shit, school kids are everywhere and Loose Women returns to television schedules. The early part of 2011 will always be remembered as a particularly frustrating period for me due to the compositions of Bruno Mars penetrating my daily morning and evening commutes like fucking wasp stings.
A poor man’s Michael Jackson, Mars shot to fame in 2010, largely for contributing bad ideas to already dreadful songs, like Travie McCoy’s mindfuckingly terrible ‘Billionairre’, before ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’, his debut album, was released to almost total elation from music critics and fans of bad music alike. The problem was, no one knew they were actually listening to one of the worst albums ever made.
Modern pop isn’t really my critical forte. Having grown up on a diet of punk, hardcore, metal, surf and Abba, dissecting rubbish like this takes me out of my comfort zone a little bit. None the less, the two main singles irritated me enough to delve deeper into the Mars discography, which luckily begins and ends with these twelve songs.
This is fourty minutes or so of unimaginative, wishy-washy, forgettable pop. It is a collection of sadsack musings from a man that would have no shame in asking someone ‘why do you think girls don’t like me?’ and rest assured, it is just as annoying.
I will always remain stunned that lead single ‘Just The Way You Are‘ shifted so many units. A song that outstays its welcome after about 23 seconds and then builds to a punishing falsetto warble, it features ridiculously melodramatic lyrics that even fucking Celine Dion would probably be embarrased to sing. Follow-up ‘Grenade‘ is even worse, alluding to the act of suicide over a girl. By claiming to be able to catch a live hand grenade to protect the said girl, Mars also makes light of war and disrespects our boys in Afghanistan or where ever the hell else our forces are stuck these days. That’s just offensive.
I’d love to see this object of Mr Mars’ lyrics; to listen to him, you’d think the broad had been perfetly crafted by the very hands of God himself.
‘Our First Time’ is a tender, boring ode to a couple’s initial fuckfest. It’s little more than a demo, like someone trying out a new microphone for the first time.
Then, ‘Runaway Baby‘ ups the ante, offering a punchier, jive-inspired number. It fails immediately due to the previous few songs affirming Mars’ status as something of a despair-ridden pariah in the eyes of the opposte sex, and is thus as embarrassing as seeing your relatives dancing at a wedding.
‘The Lazy Song‘ has ‘hit single’ written all over it, which is a worry. Does the British youth of today really need any more inspiration to do nothing with their lives but listen to rap music and mate? The album’s lyrics reaches its peak of crapness on here though, as proven by this choice cut: ‘Tomorrow I’ll wake up do some P90x / Meet a really nice girl have some really nice sex / And she’s gonna scream out ‘this is great’ (Oh my God, this is great).’ Brilliant. Let’s all destroy every copy of Shakespeare’s complete works – we have a new literary genius to dissect for GCSE English classes now. Sadly, all this cut leaves the listener with is an image of Mr Mars quite literally laying around in bed within the throws of self gratification (wanking).
I have to admit that this album isn’t without its saving graces. ‘Count On Me’ is a pleasant, low-key effort just slightly undermined by childish lyrics, whilst ‘Liquor Store Blues’ has a thunderous raggae bass groove that can be felt as well as heard. It’s no Toots & The Maytals but it’s certainly listenable.
Finally, the album title is woefully misleading. I was hoping for some strong harmony work, maybe some retro acapella ideas and certainly at least one cover of ‘Blue Moon’ by the fucking Marcels. Sadly, there’s no actual doo-wop to be had here at all though.
I’d catch a grenade for you, then write a shit song for you.