The Bottom Line
Bruno Mars has returned with the first single from his upcoming second album Unorthodox Jukebox. "Locked Out Of Heaven" is an uptempo, funky workout that possesses a sound familiar to those who have seen Bruno Mars live in concert. The lyrics describe the rapturous feelings brought about by a relationship infused with positive emotion as well as good sex. It is pleasing to hear a strong mainstream pop song so uptempo without relying on ubiquitous dance club beats. This is a solid return for Bruno Mars.
- Bruno Mars' sweet, gliding vocals
- Strong relationship-centered lyrics
- Unique uptempo arrangement
- Lacks in holding attention
- Written by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine
- Produced by Mark Ronson and the Smeezingtons
- Released October 2012 by Elektra
Guide Review - Bruno Mars - "Locked Out of Heaven"
At first blush, Bruno Mars' "Locked Out Of Heaven" sounds like the Police's classic "Message In a Bottle" had a head-on collision with the band Maroon 5. However, the vocal percussion in the song and an overall air of glossy Motown showmanship are distinctively Bruno Mars. His voice has a sweet appeal that grabs the heartstrings whether he is pleading while wrapped up in a disastrous relationship in the hit "Grenade" or praising a current love in "Locked Out Of Heaven."
The lyrics have an interesting twist. The title "Locked Out Of Heaven" would seem to indicate this song is about a relationship gone bad. However, it is about a relationship that is so good Bruno Mars feels like he has been "locked out of heaven" for a long long time while waiting for a relationship like this. Bruno Mars has proven on his previous hits that he knows how to get to the emotional core of a situation in song lyrics, and "Locked Out Of Heaven" continues that pattern. It is a well-written song that rises above the ordinary material sometimes clogging pop radio airwaves.
"Locked Out Of Heaven" may not be a new #1 smash hit for Bruno Mars, but it is a solid effort that should keep him in strong rotation on pop radio leading up to the release of the album Unorthodox Jukebox. It seems like it would have been easy for Bruno Mars to deliver another ballad for his next hit. Congratulations are deserved for giving us a more unique uptempo track to catch our attention.