Locked out of our affections too…
Katherine St Asaph: Bruno Mars’ retromania has gone retroviral — in addition to doo-wops and hooligans, we’ve got “Roxanne” and the “Be My Baby” drums. This is all very charming.
Iain Forrester: I thought that “Grenade” taking a fairly familiar concept and firing it right through schlocky melodrama and out the other side to the point where it became enjoyable again was: a) a one-off, and b) down to its mega-ballad structure being well suited to the task. Turns out he can pull off the same trick with “your sex takes me to paradise” and an up-tempo pastiche of The Police!
Jonathan Bogart: I know that it’s exactly why we’re supposed to hate Bruno Mars, but I’m totally charmed by the fact that he’s imitating Sting imitating Toots Hibbert while the rest of the Smeezingtons imitate the Police imitating the Maytals.
Brad Shoup: How adorable is that count-in? This is an airtight AOR-pop throwback, which is another way of saying the instruments can’t breathe. Mars continues to be a magpie of authenticities and modern-pop poses. So we have his post-coital panting, which runs into a Bends-era pre-chorus. His batting average isn’t great, but he’s always smiling.
Will Adams: The chorus is ace, and this is easily the best thing he’s done, but wouldn’t you just rather listen to “Roxanne”?
Alfred Soto: Gotye singing over a Police-indebted track. Gotye everywhere.
Patrick St. Michel: The good: the “Message In A Bottle”-aping verses and those hiccuping “ehs” hiding in the mix. The bad: guffaw-inducing metaphors equating sex to religion (“Open up your gates ’cause I can’t wait to see the light”) and the realization that those “ugggghs” are supposed to remind the world of boning.