We obviously know of Mars but never realised how good he was (100m records sold can’t be wrong). This new album is so good it stops you dead.
Some of the reviews we read referred to new jack swing as a reference, but Mars is no more or less than Michael Jackson; a couple of classics apart, this is as good as anything Jacko ever did as Mars takes in a variety of genres from hip hop to dance and RnB. Mars co-writes all the songs, sings throughout and one guest appearance from Halle Berry aside, does all the vocals.
The music is old school Jacko-style dance, with a modern self-awareness and some humour, and tight production. It also has the same swagger as Jacko — both Mars and Jackson know they’re the best in the world at what they do. You also get the idea that Mars has lot of fun: it’s a blingy album and production is credited to Shampoo Press and Curl.
Standouts appear from the off, the title track an instantly feel-good funky disco tune with a call and response vocal style that typified many an 80s hit. There’s even a spot of vocoder. Chunky is a Jackson-style slick dance/pop tune with a simple beat. Perm is a funky James Brown-style tune, with a massive beat. Three standouts, and only three songs in.
It’s only about 30 minutes long but you get the feeling that Mars has erased every superfluous note and made sure every second of music is perfect. It is just a pop album, but it’s pretty near perfect.