Results for Bruno Mars

reviews
Unorthodox JukeboxUnorthodox Jukebox available on iTunes

Bruno Mars Unorthodox Jukebox

Two years ago, Bruno Mars won Jim over with his infectious (and ubiquitous) "Lazy Song." Like its author,“The Lazy Song”was youthful and hard to dislike. Plus, who can resist Bruno's backstory? The pop phenom got his start at age four impersonating Elvis in his hometown of Honolulu before founding top-tier production team The Smeezingtons. Having crafted hits for the likes of Cee Lo Green and Travis McCoy, Bruno released a solo debut, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, in 2011. Late last year we got the follow up, Unorthodox Jukebox. Jim and Greg kick off their review by playing "Gorilla". It's“the stupidest song on the album”according to Greg, though there are some other contenders. Bruno's randy lyrics are nothing to write home about, but even on this record's stinkiest tracks, there are redeeming pop touches - a cool chord progression or a spot-on Prince falsetto. Jim agrees. Bruno Mars may be a lightweight, but his re-workings of Elton John, disco, and Sam Cooke are appealing and melodic. This is appropriation, but it's good appropriation. Unorthodox Jukebox gets a double Burn it.

JimGreg
Go to episode 372
NEW (Deluxe Edition)New available on iTunes

Paul McCartney New

The end of The Beatles certainly hasn't slowed the output of Paul McCartney. This year, Macca releases his 16th solo album called New. He's teamed up with a stable of pop music super producers like Mark Ronson (Lily Allen and Bruno Mars) and Paul Epworth (Florence & the Machine and Adele). Greg thinks the recording sessions with these hotshot producers brought bits of brilliance to the album. But the other bits are too undercooked and tired to earn the record more than a Burn It. Jim also appreciates the sound of the record. However, lyrically, McCartney has done better. Jim doubts McCartney's team has the courage to tell him, making New a Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 413
2525 available on iTunes

Adele 25

Pop powerhouse Adele recently made her highly anticipated return to music with her third album 25. In typical Adele fashion, she ended up selling almost 3.4 million copies of 25 in one week, breaking a previous record held by NSYNC's 2000 album No Strings Attached. Something else noteworthy about this new record is that is was produced by the biggest names in music, with songs by Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Greg Kurstin and Bruno Mars. Greg has to admit that he is disappointed with the album. While he enjoyed songs like "Million Years" and "Miss You," he thought Adele could have challenged herself more. Greg isn‘t hearing any new terrain being mined, and even though Adele has moved on in real life from that infamous relationship, musically she’s still "living in 21 land." He gives 25 a Try It. Jim is far more incensed because he was a big fan of Adele's first album, 19. The lyrics are beneath her. And without more interesting, unique songs, he has to say Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 523
VillainsVillains available on iTunes

Queens of the Stone Age Villains

Queens of the Stone Age talk Villains on their 7th release (double 7s this week!). Led by Josh Homme, the group emerged from the ashes of the desert rock band Kyuss and released their debut record in 1998. Almost 20 years later, Queens has had a revolving cast of characters making up the band, but both Jim and Greg think they finally settled on the right chemistry with Dean Fertita, Troy Van Leeuwin, Jon Theodore and Michael Shuman alongside Homme. While initially skeptical, Greg likes producer Mark Ronson's (Amy Winehouse & Bruno Mars collaborator) spin on the record. He thinks Ronson helped elevate the more“dancy”and rhythmic components of Queens. Greg gives Villains a Buy It. Jim loves the riffs and rhythms on this record, but thinks that Greg's praise of the lyrics as more than just another element in the wall of sound are a bit much. However, Jim loves the song "Feet Don't Fail Me" because of its myth-like storytelling. Jim gives Villains a Buy It as well.

JimGreg
Go to episode 615
lists

The Best Songs of 2011 - Mixtapes

As 2011 comes to a close, it's a great time to think about the songs that defined the year. Jim and Greg have compiled their favorite songs into mixtapes. During the show you'll hear a small selection, but luckily you can stream both mixes in their entirety. And you can make your own.

Happy New Year from Sound Opinions!

Go to episode 318
news

Music News

With the release of Nielsen's SoundScan year-end sales figures for 2013, Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines has officially been crowned the top-selling single of the year with 6.5 million units. Hot on Thicke's heels were Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Thrift Shop and Imagine Dragons' Radioactive with 6.15 million and 5.5 million respectively. Turning to albums, Justin Timberlake claimed the top spot with 2.43 million copies of The 20/20 Experience sold. Though, Jim and Greg note that the album's numbers happen to be the lowest sales for a #1 record in Nielsen history.

The report also revealed other interesting trends in the music industry. Vinyl record enthusiasts continued to show the love for LPs in 2013 with sales up 33% over the year before. People loved streaming their music, as well, but digital sales were down 6%. This has Jim and Greg wondering: is the stream going to kill the download?

Speaking of death and downloads… Last week, Jim and Greg reported the loss of pioneering country rocker Phil Everly. Apparently they weren‘t the only ones mourning. In the week after Phil’s passing, fans downloaded 18,000 Everly Brothers songs, a whopping 696% increase from the previous week. Dying, it turns out, can be a great career move.

Coachella Music Festival has released its full 2014 lineup. In addition to top headliners Arcade Fire, Muse, and OutKast (who are reuniting for the first time since 2007), the desert super-show will feature Girl Talk, Lana Del Rey, Motörhead, Lorde, plus two bonus reunions: The Replacements and Neutral Milk Hotel.

In other live music news, the NFL has beefed up its plans for the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show. Just in case main act Bruno Mars wasn‘t enough to satisfy America’s burning need for overhyped pop spectacle, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be joining him onstage. What a combination, Greg laments.

If the Nielsen numbers were any sign, streaming music is here to stay. And now another big player is hoping to break into that (already crowded) market: Beats Music. Spearheaded by Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor, and record exec Jimmy Iovine, the new streaming service aims to offer a more curated listening experience than its competitors. Rather than using algorithms to help users find music, Beats will rely on experts from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone—and your esteemed Sound Opinions hosts! But Jim and Greg wanted to know how the service compensates artists and labels, something for which Spotify and Pandora have taken flak. CEO Ian Rogers explains that because Beats Music won‘t be available for free, the company will pay extra for each song streamed. With the majority of every subscription fee going toward giving rights holders their fair share, Rogers says that what’s good for Beats Music is good for the industry.

Go to episode 425

Music News

These days it's not unusual for pop stars to simultaneously be topping the charts and filling the court dockets (T.I., Lil Wayne). But it is unusual for a commercial, family-friendly star to have such infamy. Singer/songwriter Bruno Mars has the #1 song in the country, "Grenade," and he's been all over mainstream TV this year with appearances on The Today Show, Saturday Night Live, Ellen and Glee. Now he's pleading guilty to cocaine possession charges, so Jim and Greg are interested to see if this affects his popularity. Our guess? It won't.

After Wilco's first label, Reprise, refused to put out their critically acclaimed 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, many people thought they should abandon the major label system. Now, almost a decade later, they're doing it. Wilco is leaving the Warner subsidiaries to form dBpm Records. It will be run by the band's manager, with distribution provided by ANTI-.

Oscar-winning composer John Barry died last week at age 77. The Guardian claims he's as "pop as the Beatles," and Jim and Greg agree. It's hard to imagine the '60s without Barry's brassy, melodic orchestrations. He was not only the man behind the iconic Bond music, but his compositions were critical to many other films. So to honor Barry, Jim and Greg play the theme to Midnight Cowboy.

Go to episode 271

Music News

Katy Perry wasn't the only thing roaring at MTV's recent Video Music Awards. Digital sales for artists featured on the program have seen significant bumps. Among those feeling a lift were Lady Gaga's Applause, which saw a 20% rise and Bruno Mars' Gorilla, which had a staggering 175% sales increase.

In other chart news the British Phonographic Industry recently updated its sales award rules. So now, a little band called The Beatles has finally gone platinum. The official count only began from 1994, though, so actual sales of hit Beatles albums like Revolver and Help can only be estimated.

By now everyone's heard Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. But, have you heard 86-year old Canadian composer John Beckwith's Blurred Lines? Well, thousands of listeners have, though perhaps not intentionally. Beckwith's 1994 recording for harpsichord and violin has gotten a huge boost in online streams ever since Thicke's song of the same name came out earlier this year. Blame it on Google, but it seems hard to mistake Thicke for Beckwith's sounds inspired by the Swedish hardanger.

Go to episode 406