5 Lazy Song
Lazy Song is more of stand-up comedy set to music than it is a song to be taken seriously. However, it is amazing. The mix of pop-beats with Jack-Johnson-like guitar and pop-culture references (like snuggies, and learning to ‘Douggie’) thrown in for good measure, makes the whole thing laughable in the best way. There’s even whistling! There is no way to stop yourself from singing along. What’s best is that everyone can relate to the song on a certain level and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It makes fun of the millennial generation and invites them to laugh at themselves, too.
4 Locked Out of Heaven
Locked Out of Heaven marries 1980s soul with 2012 power pop. The song is fun to dance to, and within the realm of pop, it has a uniquely layered sound. The repetitive nature of the Locked out of Heaven is actually hook-y, instead of boring, due to Bruno’s vocal ability. While it’s hard to tell what he’s saying exactly, there are certainly some pretty obvious, and funny, innuendos in the verses which make it all the more fun to sing along to.
3 California Girls (Katy Perry cover)
Oddly enough, Bruno Mars’s cover of California Girls shows his softer side, while also proving that his artistry goes beyond typical pop music. He turns California Girls into a pseudo love song for, not only the girls, but also for the state itself, for the idea of summer—for the greener grass we all seek in our fantasies. Sure, the lyrics feel a little sillier when sung in sincerity, but at the same time the passion in Bruno Mars’ voice is surprisingly earnest, making his version of California Girls softer and genuine.
2 Just The Way You Are
Featuring, of all things, a Walkman (flashback, anyone!?) in the opening of the music video, you have to be instantly intrigued by where Bruno Mars is going. The lyrics are typical of an R&B/pop love song, but Bruno’s voice makes it seem honest in a way that most of the other pop songs do. While most hip-hop hits are singing about girls with specific features (that’s putting it nicely, because let’s be honest pop music is devastating to girls’ self image most of the time), Bruno Mars’s not-too-overly-sentimental crooning of “just the way you are” feels genuine.
Grenade starts out sounding like a typical pop song, with a driving bass beat and distinct melody. However, it quickly evolves into a great showcase of his vocal range. With an almost Michael Jackson-esque croon, Grenade has a sort of soulfulness that most pop music lacks. The background “yeah-yeah” chorus is more reminiscent of current indie rock and the end of the chorus lines feels influenced by 80s R&B. Yet, it all fits together with a perfect pop melody.