Ok, Radio Rant time.
I feel like someone needs to tell Bruno Mars he’s running low on good karma. And, if the growing height of the pompadour is anything to go off of, hairgel as well. I still don’t quite get it; dude had a great 2010, but his 2011 has just not been good. “Grenade” was an awkward, needy single; “The Lazy Song” was a lazy, autopilot attempt at a summer hit; his chorus on “Lighters” only added to that song’s fractured mood; and not even a Glee cover could turn “Marry You” into a success. The guy obviously has talent, but he needs to harness it better.
Ok, so today we’re looking at single number five, “It Will Rain”, which I assume is the global warming version of “Let It Snow”. The song opens with a squall of noise before going into some piano and percussion per Mars’ usual sound. But “It Will Rain” sounds a little more produced than his previous songs, and has a bigger scope. Essentially, it’s a much less hammy, and therefore more successful version of “Lighters”. For one thing, “It Will Rain” has a seldom used but great post-chorus “Ooooh” hook.
As for the chorus itself, it’s built around a vaguely Michael Jackson drumbeat and subtle strings. While The Smeezingtons aren’t exactly minimalist producers, they do a good job of getting mileage out of “less is more” production, and it works on “It Will Rain”. It’s fun to sing along to, and sticks with you, but like a lot of other Bruno Mars songs, feels a little too labored to be catchy or comfortable.
Speaking of Bruno, I’m still not sure how I feel about him on “It Will Rain”. The song sounds like it’s just a little high for him, and so we have to listen to his higher, more strained voice the whole song. Used in spurts (ala the last chorus in “Grenade”), it’s effective, but after awhile it just gets grating. When this song first came out, my girlfriend described the song with, “I like it. I think I’d like it more if someone else sang it”, and I agree. Musically, “It Will Rain” is pretty and has a certain smoothness to it. Bruno does a good job on the final, more a capella chorus, but in other spots, he sounds kind of whiny, which curdles the song just a bit.
The lyrics to “It Will Rain” don’t detract from the whiny factor. Opening lyrics? “If you ever leave me baby/Leave some morphine at my door/’cuz it would a whole lot of medication/To realize what we used to have/We don’t have it anymore” Bruno, you know that morphine is a hardcore opiate, right? Narcotic, renders your ass catatonic, I wanna be sedated, that stuff. If you go on a morphine bender, the only realization you’ll come to is how much you’ve drooled on your shirt.
“So keep in mind all the sacrifices I’m making/To keep you by my side/And keep you from walking out the door” Sacrifices, right. Like jumping in front of a train?
“I’ll pick up these broken pieces ’til I’m bleeding/If that’ll make it right”. That’s not romantic, that’s Saw VII.
“There will be no sunlight/If I lose you, baby/There’ll be no clear skies/If I lose you, baby/Just like the clouds/My eyes will do the same/If you walk away/Everyday it will rain” I know I’m ragging on the song for being needy, but if you’re going to do needy, make it damn sad. This works, all I can say. Where does “It Will Rain” fall on the Scale of Neediness, anyway?
Most of the problems with “It Will Rain” are negligible since this is actually an enjoyable song. After a few listens, Bruno’s voice finally seems to fit the song, and even though the lyrics are so-so at best, the chorus and production pick up the slack. I just wonder why this song got released, it wasn’t on Bruno’s album or anything. Was this a bonus song, or a movie single, or what?
But…why? The other Twilight movie singles were moody, rocking songs about how awesome love was. And for a movie that I’m given to believe centers around wedding porn, a “Don’t leave me” song seems kind of counter-intuitive. Anyway, I still can’t figure out why Bruno Mars of all people was chosen for this. Hm, hang on. What happens if you combine this:
with this: .
Would you get something like this…?
Huh. Well, that explains that. See ya!