Album Review

Bruno Mars "Unorthodox Jukebox"

Chad W. Lutz
Bruno Mars should just cut out the middleman and change his name to Bruno Funk. The suave pop singer hailing from Honolulu released the follow-up to his debut on Tuesday, December 6, 2012, and it's enough to make any righteous nun blush. Released on Atlantic Records, Unorthodox Jukebox proves to be just that; that same old funk with a brand new twist.

The album's lyrics may induce silk bed sheets and champagne on ice. Often compared to Michael Jackson and Little Richard in terms of style and sheer sex appeal, Bruno Mars brings a funky, bombastic and soulful energy to Unorthodox Jukebox. Bruno's vocals range from sultry and sexual to boisterous and downright nasty. Unorthodox Jukebox kicks off with a Flaming Lips-esque instrumental leading into the opening verse of "Young Girls" (3:49). The album then moves into the first single released off of LP, "Locked Out of Heaven" (3:53). Driving, wild and playful, "Locked Out of Heaven" flirts with every sense.

The third and fourth tracks on the 10-song playlist continue the all-funk or go home feel of the record with "Gorilla" (4:01) and "Treasure" (2:56).Other notable tracks on the album include "Moonshine" (3:48), which drips with Jackson almost as much as the sweat your shirt accumulates dancing to it. Number 6 on the track listing, "When I was Your Man" (3:51), stands in stark contrast to the fast-paced, blistering disco speed of the rest of the album. The cut features slower tempos and a more melancholy Mars explaining the pains of doing too little and realizing it far too late.

On the whole, Unorthodox Jukebox delivers relatable and catchy lyrics, memorable hooks and enough funk to make even George Clinton get on up. The album rarely slows, and when it does, offers listeners a welcome deviation. While there aren't any overly poignant lyrics or truths about society and the meaning of life revealed Bruno Mars provides honest introspection in a flashy, fast and electric manner. Unorthodox Jukebox represents only the second studio album in the young singers career, and third album overall if you count the 2010 It's Better If You Just Don't Understand EP. But I have a feeling this isn't the last we'll hear of Bruno Mars.

82/100