THE less personality exhibited by his pop peers, the more attractive Bruno Mars is starting to sound as both songwriter and performer.
Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox
* * *
But while his second album certainly flaunts its range (that’ll be the jukebox bit covered, then), it is far from unorthodox. The only thing Mars is stretching on the likes of lovers rock number Show Me, the likeable pop funk of Treasure, conventional piano ballad When I Was Your Man and the Police-style reggae pop of Locked Out Of Heaven is his slick pastiche credentials. Michael Jackson is the principal touchstone on tracks such as Gorilla, which allies a rhythm’n’blues vocal making uncomfortable sexy talk to an 1980s AOR tune and production. Unorthodox Jukebox is more of a safe mixtape, especially compared to what Mars can pull off live with his terrific soul revue band.