To say that Bruno Mars’ latest effort – 24K Magic – serves as a major throwback album almost seems like an understatement. Each track on the record is dripping with a sound reminiscent of everything from late-70s Electro Funk to smooth 90s R&B. Mars pulls it off with his typically diamond-encrusted flair. A clear example of this style can be found in the album’s title track, with a beat so infectious it rivals his 2014 Mark Ronson collaboration ‘Uptown Funk’. Clearly, much of this album’s style has stemmed from that hit and it’s not hard to see why, with it being one of the best-selling songs of the 21st Century.
This upbeat sound continues through the album’s next few tracks – ‘Chunky’ and ‘Perm’ – until the beat mellows out for the very 90s ‘That’s What I Like’. It’s a different kind of call-back, but Mars still pulls it off seamlessly, as he does with the similarly slow ‘Versace on the Floor’. This track gives Mars a chance to really showcase his voice, with vocals immediately evoking the sound of Michael Jackson. However, these slow and steamy jams do eventually become slightly repetitive after a while. By the time late-album track ‘Calling All My Lovelies’ comes around, the style feels old, with Mars perhaps relying too heavily on his listeners’ nostalgia for the genre. Halle Berry’s surprise appearance here does make it kind of epic, though.
“The record inarguably glimmers with the gold suggested by its title”
It’s obvious that Mars has really hit his stride with his third full-length album, and coming in at just over half an hour – with only nine tracks – 24K Magic certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome. Despite the slower tunes dominating the track-list that little bit too much, the record inarguably glimmers with the gold suggested by its title.