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Mars’ freshman release injects new sound into the music scene

Originally published in the October 22, 2010 issue Check out iTunes now. If you click on the preview button next fifth spot on the Top Singles chart, you will hear the soothing voice of Peter Hernandez, a.k.a. Bruno Mars. His new album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” proves that single “Just the Way You Are” won’t be a one-hit wonder. Many reviews have come in stating that this album is near-perfect, and the critics aren’t wrong. Mars’ feathery voice provides us with a new sound, love and appreciation for the music scene. Perhaps his soulful sound comes from his Filipino and Puerto Rican heritage. Maybe it was a product of his upbringing in Honolulu, Hawaii that impacted the way he felt about music, but it seems as though Bruno Mars has a little something for everyone on his new album. As a singer/songwriter/producer who is responsible for creating chart-topping hits for artists like B.o.B., Flo Rida and Travie McCoy, Bruno Mars has already created a name for himself as far as the music industry is concerned. This time, however, instead of writing for someone else, Mars finally gets to create and showcase his own work. Though out on his own, he appears to be doing just fine as “Just the Way You Are,” continues to dominate the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, and Rolling Stone named Bruno Mars the “pop crooner of the moment [who] delivers [a] near-flawless debut.” Mars has incorporated sounds that could be compared to the Beach Boys, Bob Marley, Coldplay and the smooth sounds of The Temptations. “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” can cater to any taste. Whether you prefer upbeat tempos or relaxed vibes, the album has what you are looking for. Every song is bound to either make you get up and dance or put a smile on your face. Now, Mars is exactly where he wants to be, and as a result, everything he composes, writes and sings is the real Bruno Mars. The passion and heart behind each song is apparent and gives the album emotional depth. With songs like “Liquor Store Blues,” “Talking to the Moon” and “The Other Side,” it is no wonder why the album is currently ranked #3 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. One might compare Bruno Mars to Janelle Monae or Lady Gaga. Though none of these artists sound the same, they can all relate to one another as far as creativity goes. Janelle Monae brings something new to the table with her James Brown inspired “Tightrope,” whereas Lady Gaga has come up with her own style of music. With Bruno Mars, one can hear where he gets his inspiration from, but at the same time he has created something new. “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” in short, has pop-reggae, R&B and a 1950s inspired rock ’n’ roll sound, perfect for anyone with eclectic tastes. The rest, well, I think it is safe to say that Bruno Mars has his own sound. Expect to be seeing a lot more of Bruno Mars in the future. With his unique style of music and his talent, he is bound to continue topping the charts. GRADE: A-

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