Bruno Mars draws on Jackson influence to bring ‘24k Magic’


Album artwork courtesy Atlantic Records.

By Michael Gorman

With “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars proved that while Michael Jackson may have died years ago, the King of Pop’s influence lives on.

Mars brings the funk on every song, making listeners bop their heads and tap their feet. This is his third album and the first in four years.  The wait was worth it, as he blends infectious grooves with passionate delivery, once again making sounds from the past feel fresh, not nostalgic.

Throughout the entire album, he combines the new and old school with energetic 80s production and modern lyrics such as “Hashtag blessed.”

Via Instagram, Mars called the lead single, “24K Magic,” an invitation. “You can call it the first single, but I call it the invitation to the party.” The opening song sets the tone for the entire album, preparing listeners for a dance party that stretches across multiple decades.

On “Perm,” Mars opens the track exclaiming “It’s my birthday!” We find out the next line that it’s not his birthday, but based on the energy he brings, it may as well be. He goes on to sing about how he wants to see his woman on the dance floor looking sexy. Mars’ infectious delivery is ever-present on this track, as he repeatedly exclaims, “Throw some perm on that attitude.” The energy he brings activates the disco boogie in any listener’s legs.

Sonically, the album is fantastic, but as happens often with pop stars, the meaning behind the songs doesn’t go deeper than the surface. Mars’ often misogynistic lines about girls and their bodies sound fun to people not listening for lyrics, but ultimately don’t represent anything serious going on in the world.

Rating 3 out of 5