Released October 5, 2010 by Elektra.
Singer, songwriter and producer Bruno Mars has already established himself as one of the most valuable supporting players in creating hit pop songs. He was the featured vocal on B.o.B.'s #1 debut "Nothin' On You" as well as Travie McCoy's pop smash "Billonaire." Now he is stepping into the spotlight himself. "Just the Way You Are," the first single from the album, went straight to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The remainder of the album follows in similar fashion making this one of the top mainstream pop debuts of the year.
Straightforward Mainstream Pop Debut
Bruno Mars titled his debut EP It's Better If You Don't Understand. He has indicated one reason for the title is to show that his music is best listened to without any particular knowledge of a genre or stylistic aim. The result is music that mostly lands directly in the pop mainstream. The songs here are filled with instantly engaging pop melodies, simple song structure, and emotional words of love and life.
The music on Doo-Wops and Hooligans is consistent and goes down very easy. However, there are few truly stellar moments that cause individual songs to stand out. However, "The Other Side," which closes the album and was included on the EP It's Better If You Don't Understand, is a track which seems to indicate there is even more in Bruno Mars than most of this album demonstrates. With guest vocals from Cee Lo Green, it is a truly powerful creation.
Bruno Mars' Romantic Heart
As an artist, Bruno Mars seems a true romantic. His #1 hit "Just the Way You Are" spells out the beauty of a lover who needs to change absolutely nothing. The album opener "Grenade" provides a fresh twist on the lover who would die for his beloved. Unfortunately, the beloved would not do the same. "Marry You" is simply lost in the joy of being with the one who inspires long term commitment. "The Lazy Song" even humorously kicks reality out the door for a romanticized view of a day in which the protagonist "will not do anything."
Top Tracks On 'Doo-Wops and Hooligans'
- "Just the Way You Are"
- "The Lazy Song"
- "The Other Side"
One Of the Top Pop Debuts Of the Year
Bruno Mars' first album has a lightness that often threatens to drift off into pure fluff. However, the next surefire melody and the earnestness of vocals tugs at your pop heart to draw you in again and again. This is one of the top debut albums of the year, but it does seem that Bruno Mars has even more in him as a creative artist than what is shown here. Perhaps Doo-Wops and Hooligans will create a firm foothold for Bruno Mars such that on a second album he can stretch the horizons further and deliver an album of truly memorable songs. Meanwhile, lay back and let the tunes drift by like a cool breeze on a summer afternoon.