Bruno Mars-Locked Out of Heaven

It’s interesting how so many of us (note, I said ‘us’) turned on this guy quite quickly. Prior to his album being released, some of the demos and rough tracks of his that leaked into various R&B Fridays episodes were real fan favourites, and undoubtedly showcased a very talented guy. However, it seems the closer we got to that album, the more those fans turned away and despite his style still being fairly crossover, the general reasoning is that he got ‘too pop’.

I don’t think this will do much to change that view. Whilst the verses are busy, upbeat and filled with lively instrumentation, some of the lyrical work is really lacking in comparison to his earlier work, particularly in the hook which is quite clearly targeted at teenage girls singing into their hairbrushes. It’s difficult to ever question his vocals as those slight imperfections are what adds character and emotion to his work, but truthfully that’s the only source of those two things: this just feels repetitive and easy for a man of his talents, and hence very hollow. No doubt that this will be an enormous hit, but for the fans who were hoping he’d return to old form, I’d give it a miss.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 120

A longer episode this week, with plenty of R&B’s luminaries making appearances this week, including Frank Ocean, Ne-Yo and Trey Songz, alongside a track from the latest group emerging from the Odd Future collective.

Nothing to recap on from the week gone by, so go ahead and treat yourself by clicking below and gorging yourself on the treats within.

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Bad Meets Evil (Eminem & Royce Da 5'9") - Lighters ft. Bruno Mars

And the second Shady/Royce collaboration to get visual treatment is also released today, this time for the much more mellow Lighters track that featured on their Bad Meets Evil EP.

Not really a fan of this track, mostly because Bruno Mars’ chorus here annoys me too much. However both verses on this are great, if you can look past the chorus (and poptakular beat).

It is a track that was hugely successful commercially, so maybe I’m in the minority when I say I’m not big on this song!

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Diggy Simmons and Bruno Mars-Click Clack Away

Solid thinking from Atlantic once again: get one of hip-hop’s brightest newcomers, and give him that mainstream rub by pairing him up with Bruno Mars.

We’ve seen from his various freestyles and the odd original track that Diggy’s got talent on the mic, and no matter what your view is on this sort of ‘radio ready’ track, it’s good to see he has the versatility to make this sort of material. The track is easy to listen to and fairly generic, which gives this a huge chance of being quite the single for Diggy; however, from a critical standpoint it’s very lazy. Everything about the production mirrors B.o.B’s Nothin’ On You, from the jaunty melody on the keys to the almost-identical percussion loops, which is a disappointing (though probably more Atlantic’s doing than Diggy’s). Bruno’s hook is catchy as expected, and does the job of making this accessible to the chart fans. Just a shame they didn’t push the boundaries a little more for such a rare, young hip-hop talent.

Diggy Simmons-Click Clack Away ft. Bruno Mars

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Bruno Mars and Damian Marley-Liquor Store Blues Video

Probably my favourite track from Bruno’s album, and one that’s still very listenable today. The simplicity of the video is very fitting here, ensuring the easygoing, relaxing reggae vibe of the track isn’t tainted by excessive storyline work.

The cinematography is an understated highlight (oxymoron?) too, with various retro-esque effects, filters and wipes used throughout that enhance that nostalgic, old-school summer day feel of the track.

It’s actually quite refreshing to see Bruno on this chilled out tip too, with his previous videos being pretty emotional, passionate efforts. Say what you want about him (and it seems many people will moan about him just because he’s now popular), but his talents are undeniable and he’s by far the most bearable mainstream pop artist right now by virtue of being a talented singer-songwriter, and with the diversity level that this track shows. I must admit I feel a certain level of personal pride having (helped) uncover his talent towards the end of 2009, and frankly he deserves his success.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 89

Genuine reason on the delay this week: I wasn’t happy with the amount of good quality material as of yesterday afternoon, but the R&B/pop world has delivered in the last 24 hours or so to make sure that situation has improved.

Not too much to recap on from the past week, with only the three related items: UK starlet Jodie Connor released her newest single, fellow homegrown upcomer Jaya released a new video featuring two prominent MCs, and Mike Posner let loose of official visuals for his collaboration with Lil’ Wayne.

Click below for this week’s R&B fix.
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B.o.B, Bruno Mars & Janelle Monáe-Grammy Awards Performance [Video]

3 of the most diverse and talented acts around the music scene at this moment in time (2 of whom feature in this video) combine to give us a truly sensational performance.

First off, we have B.o.B combing with both Janelle (backing vocals) and Bruno (keyboard) to give an enchanting rendition of Nothin’ On You. Bobby Ray then jumps onto the keyboard as Mars, whose vocals are once again utterly superb, breaks out into an amazing 50′s inspired performance of Grenade (grab the latest remix here). We then get treated to Janelle Monáe singing her brilliant single, Cold War, as B.o.B gets on the guitar and Bruno smashes it on the drums.

Somehow, both Bobby Ray and Janelle Monáe managed to walk away from the Grammys with nothing, though Bruno Mars managed to pick up the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance award. Props to Ajay for spotting Bruno’s talent way back in November ’09

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Bruno Mars ft. Lil' Wayne-Grenade [Remix]

Who seen this coming? I certainly didn’t. Wayne adds an opening verse onto Bruno Mars’ smash hit Grenade, of which you can view the superb video for here. It’s just a shame that it’s come so long after the song has been overplayed everywhere, more than likely due to Weezy only recently being released from jail.

Using a far more mellow flow than we’re used to hearing from Weezy, with lyrics that are well on point, Wayne manages to fantastically encapsulate the whole emotional aspect of the track in his 16 bars. It’s probably the most impressive verse I’ve heard him come out with since his return, and it leaves you wanting more of him on the track.

Bruno Mars ft. Lil’ Wayne-Grenade [Remix]

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R&B Fridays: Episode 76

Whilst the rest of the music world seems to have taken a much-needed breather this week (album releases aside), there’s been no shortage of new and/or unreleased R&B and pop material in the 76th instalment of R&B Fridays.

The week has already seen a great new video from Tank, two new remixes from T-Pain, a captivating video for Bruno Mars’ Grenade, the UK’s own Chipmunk working with Chris Brown, another release from Trey Songz’s upcoming mixtape, Keri Hilson and Kanye West getting together for a new remix, Keyshia Cole and Nicki Minaj’s collabo video, and the unexpected release of a John Legend and Estelle EP.

Lots up there, and lots down below. Click on.
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Bruno Mars-Grenade Video

A great video for a superb track. The emotion in Bruno’s vocals is captured perfectly in a very simple manner, as Bruno drags his piano through all types of conditions, which produces a powerful set of images to accompany the audio.

The simplicity of the theme and structure lends itself to emphasising the lyrics even more, as the pain and anguish on Bruno’s face speaks far stronger than an over-complicated script would. Great ending too, closing out with a thought-provoking cliffhanger that adds further strength to the lyrics.

Superb video for one of the best tracks he’s made to date, and probably one of the best songs of its type this year.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 70

Over the last 70 episodes, we’ve delivered music from your favourite acts, introduced you to some new and exiciting ones, and of course given a new lease of life to otherwise forgotten artists. To celebrate that, I’ve ensured this week’s episode covers all of that ground nicely, to keep everyone satisfied.

Not much to recap on this week, besides two big video premieres from Rihanna and Lloyd. Click on to grab a chunky, 20+ track episode that’ll keep you going for a while.

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Behind The Scenes of Just The Way You Are

An interesting look behind the scenes of the great video for Bruno’s breakout solo single.

Plenty of footage with the people who matter, and it’s always good to see how these videos are put together, especially when they involve such a superb song.

The finished video can be found here.

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The Blue Pages-Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars Cover)

Very good acoustic cover of the universally-loved Bruno Mars single. This is certainly one of those songs that fits an acoustic style incredibly well, and I don’t expect it to be long before a video surfaces of Bruno himself going for an acoustic rendition of the song.

Original can be found here. Also, is it me or is this video filmed in a kitchen?

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Bruno Mars–Liquor Store Blues ft. Damian Marley

New leak from Bruno Mars much anticipated debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Liquor Store Blues is a fantastic song which features some welcomed vocals from Damian Marley. Bruno Mars fans need no convincing, I’m sure you’re all clamouring to get your hands on this and are furiously pressing the link below.

Bruno Mars – Liquor Store Blues ft. Damian Marley

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Bruno Mars Blends Smells Like Teen Spirit With Billie Jean

There’s not a lot I can say that the title doesn’t! Bruno lets his alternative side loose at a recent live show, breaking out the Nirvana classic and remixing it with the iconic Billie Jean lyrics. Throw in another transition to Seven Nation Army and this is a great watch/listen.

Oh, and the screaming girls throughout are hilarious!

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Bruno Mars-Just The Way You Are ft. Lupe Fiasco

How do you make a great song even more awesome? Simply get Lupe Fiasco to do a remix. Go here for the video/original version if for some reason you aren’t already accquainted.

Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are ft. Lupe Fiasco

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2010 MTV Video Music Awards [Part II]

As I said earlier, Eminem opened up the show with a probably the best performance of Not Afraid I’ve seen him do, he’s then joined by Rihanna to perform their massive single, Love The Way You Lie.

Click below to see some more performances from the awards show by B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Hayley Williams,, Nicki Minaj and to see Rick Ross pimping it out on a mobile scooter!

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Bruno Mars-Doo-Wops and Hooligans Tracklist

1. Grenade
2. Just The Way You Are
3. Our First Time
4. Runaway Baby
5. The Lazy Song
6. Marry You
7. Talking To The Moon
8. Liquor Store Blues (ft. Damian Marley)
9. Count On Me
10. The Other Side (ft. Cee-Lo Green & B.o.B)

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Bruno Mars-Just The Way You Are Video

Fantastic song, and a great video that highlights the passion and emotion in the lyrics well. The general simplicity of the surroundings and scenario definitely lends itself to emphasising the quality of the song.

I’m a big fan of the cassette tape animation (you’ll know what I mean when you watch it): it would have been nice to see that used more beyond the first verse, but it’s good while it lasts.

It’s a funny thing to say, but sometimes directors get casting wrong: they’ve got it right here, as the lady of choice is great but not in a plastic, video vixen type way. Certainly makes the lyrics more believable and gives them validity. I may also be a little bit in love with her.

Audio can be grabbed here.

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Album and Single Artwork

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Bruno Mars Announces Debut Album

We knew it was coming, and finally Bruno officially announces details for his upcoming debut album. By details, I mean the name and release date: it is set to be called Doo-Wops and Hooligans, and will be released on October 5th. We all know those dates are far from concrete, but it gives a rough timeframe and I’m glad there isn’t too long to wait!

It’s fair to say he’s a man on a roll, scoring two worldwide hits with Travie McCoy and B.o.B, as well as proving his production credentials time and time again so hopefully he’ll get some success with this album. Be sure to check out the brilliant first single from the album here.

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Justin Michael/Bruno Mars - Her World Goes On [Video]

You may remember this song, Ajay in fact posted it in an R&B Friday back in March! This is produced and co-written by a guy called Justin Michael, who is signed to Ultra Records (home of Deadmau5, Pitbull & Tiesto among others).

Anyway this really is a fantastic song, which is proven by the fact that I still love it now. You can grab this here (if you were foolish enough to miss out on it the first time), also click below to see two new fantastic tracks by Justin Michael, where he’s remixed Ciara’s track Ride & Jason Derulo’s Ridin’ Solo.

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Cee-Lo and 50 Cent-F**k You Remix

This song is something special. The original has been catching some real buzz over the last few days, and 50 Cent took the time to drop a verse on it recently. Cee-Lo is at his absolute best on this one, bringing his distinctive vocals to a defiant, uptempo and entertaining track that is almost impossible to dislike. It’s got great production too, having been put together by Bruno Mars/The Smeezingtons.

F**k You should realistically have a ton of fans, click below to make sure you’re one of them.

Cee-Lo-F**k You Remix ft. 50 Cent

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R&B Fridays: Episode 60

I REALLY need to remember to do these. I prepare them all week, setting up playlists and filtering songs, but come Friday I end up being massively distracted and completely forget all my hard work.

You’ll forgive me after the click though, of that I’m sure. I’ve made sure all the big hitters are involved in this milestone episode. Don’t believe me? Prepare to look (even more) like a fool.

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Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are [New Single]

You know how pretty much every Bruno Mars song we’ve put up on this site has, quite frankly, been awesometastic? And you know how we all want to hear him come out with an album soon? Well this is apparently set to be the 1st single from his debut album, and I can tell you now that this completely blows every track he’s done out of the water – which is something I didn’t think was possible.

This is an amazingly uplifting song which I do think will really epitomise this summer. Go grab this track below (have I hyped this up too much? Probably not enough tbh).

Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are

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Bruno Mars/Cee Lo Green/B.o.B - The Other Side [Video]

Superb track accompanied by a great video, Bruno Mars is going to be a star. No B.o.B in this video from what I can gather though :(

Audio can be nicked by clicking here.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 56

After the success of last week’s R&B Friday, I’ve once again picked up Ajay’s mantle this week and have for you another quality episode.

Here we have for you some big names in Ciara, Usher, JLS, Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Omarion and we also have for you some newcomers. Up and coming regulars of this weekly feature like Jackie Boyz & Rock City also make an appearance, as you’d expect by now.

So click on for a load of tracks that will keep you entertained until your next scheduled fix!

Edit: I’ve since received the official album version of the new Usher track (with a different, new Pitbull verse) so come inside and grab the even higher quality one.

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Lupe Fiasco and Bruno Mars-The Original 'Nothin' On You'

Those of you with decent memories will recall the info a little while ago stating that Nothin’ On You was supposed to be for Lupe originally. I didn’t know he’d actually recorded a version though, and it seems a (rough, unmixed) version of Lupe’s version hit the internet last night.

It’s roughness is pretty evident throughout as the verses, production and hook don’t sound fully completed. However, it’s still very listenable and makes for an interesting refresh on the B.o.B version. Lupe’s flow is considerably slower than the style B.o.B went for and it still manages to work really well, making the song a little more chilled and relaxed. Lupe’s lyrical gifts are known to all, so getting some unheard Lupe verses works well for me!

Lupe Fiasco-Nothin’ On You ft. Bruno Mars

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R&B Fridays: Episode 53

Consistency is the key, and like last week there are 18 tracks for you to check out. Pretty much full of names you should be familiar with by now,  giving everything a go this week is made a lot easier in that respect.

Savour these episodes-next week could be my last R&B Friday for a few weeks as I’m going away. What/who will substitute for them you ask? Wait and see. Still one more to go after this one though!

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