Bruno Mars’ pop album, Doo Wops and Hooligans begins with the lines, “Truth of the matter is I’m complicated,” which is funny, because the lyrics of the songs presented are meant to be simple and carefree. There are hints of rock, reggae, R&B, soul, and hip-hop sprinkled throughout the album, but these don’t interfere with the optimistic tones. The light-hearted and catchy tunes keep you dancing until the album ends. Doo Wops and Hooligans is home to the well-known “Just the Way You Are,” a lead single which became an international hit after topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks. For lovebirds and romantic souls out there, this album is a sure pleaser.
Mars collaborates with B.o.B., as well as Cee Lo Green in “The Other Side,” a fast-paced song which also makes an appearance in another album, It’s Better if You Don’t Understand. He partners with Damian Marley, a reggae artist, in the soulful song, “Liquor Store Blues.
” The rest of the songs on the album are solos, with his smooth voice gently reminding you of the pain he sings of, or a strong voice for the happiness he feels.
My personal favorites are his singles, which easily rose to the top of charts in many countries. “Just the Way You Are,” “Grenade,” and “Marry You” are a few of the many examples. Most of the songs concern relationships, and even Mars admitted his simple, romantic side was on display in this album. His amazing vocal range allows him to hit high notes, especially in “Marry You,” where Mars asks for a girl’s hand in marriage. Even the first few lines go straight to the point: “It’s a beautiful night, we’re looking for something dumb to do, hey baby, I think I wanna marry you!” Many listeners (both male and female) have commented that after hearing the song and the young, carefree voice behind it, they wanted to get married, either to Bruno or another loved one. One commenter said on Amazon Customer Reviews, ” I’m a straight male and after listening to this, I want to get married to Bruno. He basically just proposed to me in the song, lol.”
In “Just the Way You Are,” Mars sings of how he admires a girl just the way she is, while she is unhappy with herself. It is unclear who Mars is specifically talking about, although we can tell that it’s someone special to him. “I know when I compliment her, she won’t believe me, and it’s so, it’s so sad to think that she doesn’t see what I see.” Listeners have said that it’s a warm, fuzzy, esteem-raising song, because Mars is in love with everything the girl hates about herself. “Her laugh her laugh, she hates but I think it’s so sexy.”
“Grenade”comes as a surprise due to its difference in mood and tone compared to other songs from Doo Wops and Hooligans. It’s a song in which Mars still cares about a girl he has previously had a relationship with. However, she moved on. His feelings for her are to such an extent that he’s willing to “catch a grenade for ya/Throw my head on a blade for ya/I’d jump in front of a train for ya/You know I’d do anything for ya/Oh oh, I would go through all this pain/Take a bullet straight through my brain/Yes, I would die for ya baby” although she wouldn’t do the same. After those four minutes, you’re led back to reality, no longer listening to Mars whisper his sorrows into your ear.
With the ten songs and fans demanding more, Doo Wops and Hooligans peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 200 and in the top ten of music charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. Mars’ musical style has been compared to that of Michael Jackson as well as Jason Mraz. Doo Wops and Hooligans received seven nominations for the Grammy Awards in both 2011 and 2012, with additional awards such as Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. It became the third best-sellingalbum of 2011 in the United Kingdom, selling over a million copies and over two million in the U.S. Worldwide, it has reached over six million copies insales.
Mars’ soft, pleasant tenor draws listeners in without effort. The rawness in his singing captures the beauty in his voice. Doo Wops and Hooligans follows the highs and lows of a love life, making upbeat love songs irresistible to dance to, and breakup songs hard to smile at.
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