Ah…summer’s almost upon us! It’s getting warm out, the sun is shining, fake tans are starting to come back up…yep, summer’s the season. And of course, every summer needs a soundtrack. So what are we looking at today?
“The Lazy Song”, eh? Well, let’s take a listen! Hm, upstroke guitar, groovy percussion…ladies and gents, we’ve got ourselves a brocoustic number! Normally I can’t stand this stuff, but you know what? I’ve had a long few weeks, let it play! Hang on, I need a legit bro’s opinion on this, let me make a call. Pull out my phone here…”]
Bruno, buddy. What the hell happened? “Nothin’ on You”. The decent parts of “Rocketeer”. “Fuck You”. You had a hand in all these great pop songs; why does your solo output consist of an overly-saccharine (if good) ballad and an awkward pout-fest?
Back when I reviewed “Just the Way You Are”, I mentioned that Mars’ main mission is music was to “get the ladays“, and all he was missing was the acoustic guitar. Well, in comes “The Lazy Song”, a song built around acoustic guitar upstrokes, a rubbery bassline, and a disappointingly average drum beat (Bruno’s other singles have had pretty top notch beats). Bruno Mars on a song he produced to be a breezy summer jam? Never heard that one before. Although to be fair, like Mars’ other hits, the production is pretty tasteful.
And, like his other hits, the hook isn’t especially strong. It’ll get stuck your head eventually just through sheer repetition, but anytime I think “Today I don’t feel like doing anything”, I don’t match it with the hook here. The melody for the verses feels too hurried for such a mellow song, like Mars couldn’t cut any lyrics.
You know, because “The Lazy Song” is filled with lyrical gems. Like this: “Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants/No one’s going to tell me I can’t” That’s true, but guess whose hand I’m never shaking. Also, nothing’s going to date your song faster than rhyming “snuggie” with “doughie”, or mentioning a P90-x (am I the only one that had to look that one up?). Aside from those, none of these lyrics are especially bad, but none of them have any universality like “Just the Way You Are” did, and they sound like the first things Mars could think of.
Maybe I got off on the wrong foot with him on “Billionaire”, but I swear that Bruno’s voice gets better on every single. I really like his vocals here, especially on the bridge, where he sound just as smooth and personable as he always acts. It’s kind of refreshing to not hear him try so hard.
But I do miss when Mars seemed to be trying at all. Is this called “The Lazy Song” because it’s about being lazy or because it is lazy? I get that the song’s meant to be fun, and don’t get me wrong, it’s an enjoyable listen, but in a world where “Loser”, “What I Got”, and even “Billionaire” exist, “The Lazy Song” feels wholly unnecessary. We know Bruno Mars can make great songs, so why did he make the summer soundtrack for this guy?
PS: Follow Matt on twitter at http://twitter.com/frogsoblivious. He’s much less bro than he seems.