I need a subject for a Radio Rant…who’s in the news?
Huh. Really? Bruno Mars got arrested for cocaine possession? Eh, he probably thought it was flour. Well, good enough.
I think my exposure to Bruno Mars is pretty much the same as everyone else’s. The twerp pretty much came out of nowhere earlier this year by getting featured on B.o.B’s first single, “Nothin’ on You”. And then in this summer he showed up again, this time in Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire”, putting him in two bigger releases this year.
And amazingly enough, he’s used those two cameos to make me already want to punch him in the face. You know those guys who use music solely as a way to get girls? That’s Bruno Mars. Seriously, everything from his meticulously tilted fedora to that wide-eyed look into the camera and that stupid smile he always has (he’s even using it in his mugshot of all places!) to that wussy falsetto voice he uses exclusively is a tactic to make girls think he’s cute. I’m sure he wishes he wrote “I’m Yours”, “Half of My Heart”, and “Hey Soul Sister” so that he could “woo the ladies”.
But now he’s able to join the d-bag elite with his new single, “Just the Way You Are”. I…honestly, this Radio Rant almost isn’t even fair. Before I’d even heard the song, the fact that I knew who was singing it and what the title was already told me everything about it. But that isn’t fair. Let’s get going.
Maybe he’s insincere about it, maybe not, but the message behind this song is one that needs to be said. In a time where songs like “Tik Tok” and “California Gurls” go number one, it’s refreshing to hear a song that celebrates people for who they are. I know a frequent complaint I have in RR’s past has been faulty songwriting, but these lyrics are fine. Even if they could have picked a better choice to illustrate a girl being “amazing just the way you are” in the video.
Let’s see, what else have we got here…ah, the music. Mars ditches the traditional tool of the jackass looking to get girls (the acoustic guitar) in favor for a laughably easy piano part which is pretty much the equal of acoustic strumming. That drum part borders on overbearing, though. There’s also a few bells and whistles that take the form of…er, a bell and some nebulous keyboards here and there, too. And it’s one of the better arranged songs I’ve heard in a while, everything here sounds essential and doesn’t detract from the song.
Then there’s Mars’ singing. I’ll be honest, I legitimately thought it was a girl singing the first part of the song. But that said, I actually like the way he sounds in the verses when he uses his “lower” voice. Once he gets into the chorus, he turns back to the usual high-pitched wailing that irks me every time. And he sounds over-sincere. Like, AvA Tom Delonge over-sincere. The bells add a nice touch though, and not one you hear in a lot of pop.
I did a quick fact-check on Mars and found out that in addition to his two features, he’s done some studio work as a producer and a songwriter. This explains a few things, like why it sounds well done without being ruthlessly professional. But the amateurism kicks in too, “Just the Way You Are”, while being a relatively good song, isn’t a particularly memorable one.
Well, I think that’s about it. I didn’t end up hating this like I thought I would; it’s actually a nice, if not terribly catchy, song. Oh, and when I did that check on Mars, I also found something else. Direct quote from him regarding his singing voice: “I blame that on me singing to girls back in high school. Girls love it when you croon to them. Maybe that’s why I do a lot of falsetto.”
So he…he sings this way just because he used his voice to get girls?