Even after letting loose of 3 Bruno Mars-related goodies in the last 24-hours, this may as well be R&B Fridays: Bruno Mars edition. A bunch of unreleased Bruno material leaked last weekend (he has 11/20 tracks in here!), and the sheer quality of it makes it dominant in this episode. Make sure you check out the amazing track from his upcoming EP beforehand.
Good material from a range of other artists too, including Ciara and The-Dream. I never say this on any of my posts because I don’t want to ‘force it’, but I genuinely think you guys should be looking to grab everything in this week’s episode, such is the quality.
I’m really proud of this week’s episode, as it’s absolutely packed with playlist dominators, and the only way to do justice to these tracks was to spend time on the reviews: make it worth my time and click on.
Before I go any further, I mentioned above that there are a bunch of Bruno Mars tracks. I know he’s got some dedicated fans here on OTU, so if you’ve just come for those I’ve packaged them into one mighty .zip file here. Wouldn’t recommend missing some of the other stuff below though!
Bruno Mars-Watching Her Move
-Kicking off with a fantastic uptempo effort from Bruno. The beat is very addictive, Bruno’s vocals are catchy, and everything goes right in this one. Great piece of positive R&B for sure, one of the stronger tracks of recent times.
Brandon Hines-I’m In Love
-Brandon’s been doing some work with veteran hit-maker Jermaine Dupri, and it’s certainly paying off judging by this track. Nice and simple on the production, and Hines’ voice carries the track very well. Good all-round effort that solidifies Hines as one to watch.
Bruno Mars-All About You
-Bruno effortlessly hovers that rarely-ventured line between R&B and Indie, and does so very well as ever. Really enjoying this bouncy and retro effort, which showcases Bruno’s voice really well.
Ciara-I Run It
-The-Dream and Tricky Stewart put together another superb track for Ciara. Following suit from Ep. 45′s Up & Down, this is slow and seductive stuff that suits Ciara absolutely perfectly. Really liking this new direction she’s taken, and I genuinely hope she sticks with it as there are very few female singers doing this sort of stuff with any quality these days.
Bruno Mars-Take The Long Way Home
-Guess what? This is yet another fantastic Bruno track, and yet again he switches up the style. This is similar to the above track in that its a little slower, a little more deliberate and definitely has some smooth vibes going down. Very similar to Trey Songz/Lloyd’s sort of lane, and as ever Bruno proves capable of being mentioned in that group.
Taio Cruz-Dirty Picture (Remix) ft. Ke$ha & Fabolous
-Fabolous lends a verse to the popular Taio track. I didn’t really give the original the playtime it deserved, and have to say that the production is perfect for a club environment.
Bruno Mars-Who Is
-With the variety in these Bruno tracks, it’s honestly like reviewing a different artist every time. Just Bruno and his piano for this one, and they combine to deliver a very heartfelt and emotional track. There’s a likeable raw, organic feel about this one, and you can certainly tell that there’s no voice enhancement or anything. Great performance.
-Has anyone ever noticed how I juxtapose tracks? No? Doesn’t matter. From raw performance to Mr. AutoTune, this one is a demo for a female artist and is decent. The production is very different, with a pacey drumline being partnered with a smooth piano melody bu it works nicely, and I look forward to seeing who takes this on.
Bruno Mars-Where Did She Go
-You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a Pharrell track at points. The beat is very Neptunes-esque (it’s a Stereotypes beat though) and Bruno’s delivery in the verses is similar to P’s. Very good track though, especially the switch up for the hook.
Britney Spears-Telephone (Lady GaGa Demo)
-You read that right. GaGa/Beyonce’s smash was originally going to be a Britney track last year, but she opted for something else. It’s quite interesting hearing these sort of things, especially in the wake of GaGa’s success, and it’s also clear how much the track has progressed under GaGa’s ownership (from both a production and vocal standpoint).
Bruno Mars-Long Distance
-Slightly similar to the above track Who Is, although this has a much more progressive production that comes to a nice climax. Another slower one, and another great one from Bruno.
Robin Thicke-Fall Again (Michael Jackson Demo)
-Another big demo track, although this was intended for MJ’s Invincible album I believe. Very old-school soul sounds in the subtle and simple production, as well as Robin’s ever-smooth vocals. Very relaxing and mellow track, and it’s a shame MJ never recorded this.
-This track also has some pretty interesting retro vibes. I’m definitely hearing some influences of old school Michael Jackson in the upbeat production, whilst Bruno adds the modern twist with his vocals and lyrics. Liking Bruno’s delivery on this.
Bruno Mars-There I Go Again
-Another one for the crossover fans to enjoy. This has a really interesting verse-to-hook switch up, as the production moves from a pop-R&B base to a very indie-alt effort. One man holds it all together, and that’s Bruno Mars.
The-Dream-Make Up Bag ft. T.I.
-I’m absolutely loving this. Set to be on The-Dream’s upcoming album, this production is utterly fantastic. Dream is definitely near the top of the R&B pile right now, and his ability over these sorts of productions is what sets him apart. T.I. comes through with a good verse too.
-Switch in styles again, and this straddles that R&B/alternative line once more, although a little more on the R&B side. Love this driving and infectious production, which is complimented well by perfectly-fitted lyrics and smartly-delivered vocals.
Enrique Iglesias-I Like ft. Pitbull
-So Enrique is the latest to buy into the dance beat+Pitbull feature craze. This was the only track I hesitated with, but this will have its fans in the pop sector, and will certainly be a huge hit in clubs and on radio. It’s not my thing, but will probably be yours.
Bruno Mars-Before It Explodes
-Possibly Bruno biggest and most powerful vocal performance to date. Absolutely huge vocals on this one, and brilliantly aided by an effective production. Incredible set of lungs on this guy.
Ciara-One More Dance
-Ciara back on her uptempo style. Pretty good stuff given my strong appeal above for her to stay in the slow lane, and this is an easy-to-digest piece of bouncy R&B.
Bruno Mars-Talking To The Moon
-What better way to conclude this Bruno-centric episode than with a cracker from the man himself. Slower one from Bruno, with very passionate delivery and some introspective and contemplative lyricism being the highlight. Paints a really nice picture, and a good way to close off a phenomenal episode carried by this guy.