First Hit #1: April 20, 2013
Bruno Mars, after a brief time being Sting, is back to being himself again. But he’s stripped down to the bare essentials, just voice and piano. Mars is someone who can pull this off, he’s got a great voice that can fill out a song with a relative minimum of overdubs, and very basic instrumentation does a really good job of highlighting Mars’ technical ability.
That said, he hasn’t created a song that’s lyrically all that interesting. It’s basically a high school romance song, reflecting on someone screwing up the details of a relationship. It’s not bitter or resentful, which is nice in a song that’s about a breakup, but it’s actually pretty silly. One could certainly draw comparisons to acts like Boyz II Men, though the composition doesn’t leave room for more voices, since it’s in the same sensitive man wheelhouse as that group. Mars has always been kind of positioning himself as the new sensitive man, of course, so that comparison is inevitable. It’s not a complicated song in any sense of the term, but it works better as a showcase of ability than it does lyrically.