Saturday Night Live kept Bruno Mars busy when he stopped by…

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Between doing a quite impression range of musical and character impressions, Bruno Mars found the time to take the stage and perform.  With a couple months left before his new, highly anticipated album came out, he gave an incredible rendition of the introduction track, “Young Girls”.  He is a man with everything to prove, and from the sound of it, took his time to make sure he got every detail right.

There’s really nothing to be said except that this was clearly a preview of something incredible ahead.

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Two months later, after a couple years of waiting, Bruno Mars released a more than worthy followup to  his highly successful debut album.

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Unorthodox Jukebox in 30 words or less:

Second album from the exceptional Bruno Mars; 34:51 of solid, creative music; detailed and intentional; difficult to define; complementary to Mars’ strengths; fun

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My Randomly Ordered Top 7 Moments of Unorthodox Jukebox

1) “Young Girls“; 2:09; Mars’ simple vocal ad lib here is not only unexpected, but incredibly indicative of the musicality and vocal acrobatics to follow.

2) “Locked Out of Heaven“; 3:22; I have always been a sucker for the half-time feel, and there is such anticipation and build to this part live that you can’t help but be caught up in it.

3) “Gorilla”; 2:52-3:38; On first hearing, this is a pinch-yourself moment.  The number of humans alive who can pull off this kind of Michael Jackson-esque range and ad libs could fit in a Kei Car.  Hide the kids.

4) “When I was Your Man”; 2:54, 3:04; Mars has been criticized by some moron for belting at the top of his lungs and range on every song.  Here, he shows the versatility to follow up a death-defying build with a soft, peaceful resolution.

5) “Natalie”; 1:49; Hiring a band of Hooligans to enhance his live shows was genius.  The simple back and forth here is understated, but gives a life to this and other songs that the fill-in-the-singer pop songs on the radio can’t hold a candle to.

6) “Money Make Her Smile”; 1:26;  I would not consider Bruno Mars a modern day Shakespeare, but he definitely stepped up the lyrics from the first album.  On this album, thankfully, he replaced lines like “there’s only one carrot and they all gotta share it” with “she don’t go where preachers preach/ she only goes to the church where dollars fall”

7) “Money Make Her Smile”; 2:17-2:25; I almost didn’t make it through the entire album because I got stuck hitting repeat on this song.  This short build into another incredible drop showcases what could quickly become a Mars’ calling card.

Bruno Mars was already a household name, and now with this cd and the slew of incredible performances since, he has stepped into the realm of the legendary.  As pessimistic and antagonistic as I like to be, I can’t take a shot at a man who grew so much between albums, and as a musician myself I have nothing but respect for a man who produces such great music.  I only hope he doesn’t make us wait another two or three years for the next release.

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February 2 Music Cache 

What I wouldn’t give to perform this song and be able to do it justice…

The King of Pop doing his thing

Even in terrible video quality, a great performance is a great performance.  Don’t dare click away

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