Great artist, great tune, great performance.
Bruno (real name Peter Gene Hernandez) has only had one album to date, entitled ‘Doo Wops and Hooligans’ released in late 2010, but it’s pretty epic as a first offering. He’s currently getting a new album recorded and I plan on picking it up as soon as it’s out.
His debut album features a variety of tunes all with reasonably different styles, but all have a distinctive Hawaiian/reggae backdrop… you might think I’m making that up, but if you listen closely it’s a common theme running through almost every track and this is even admitted by Bruno himself in a few interviews, citing growing up in Hawaii as a major influence in his lifestyle and writing.
Here’s a thing or three…
Focusing on a few of the tracks:
– ‘Just the way you are’ – This has arguably been the most successful song from the album. It’s a feel-good anthem played at weddings across the world in the last few years. The melody on the chorus is really simple, memorable, and the last line is a good ‘hook’ that really sticks in your mind. I like it anyway!
– ‘The Other Side’ – The amazing Cee-Lo Green features in this track (Cee-Lo will be featured in a later blog post) and it is a stonkingly cool track. Artistically, I like the way the lyrics say very little, but you paint a whole world in your mind. Technically, the melody of the chorus is stupendous, as it 100% out of chest voice… not a single note in chest voice, and it goes a good octave about chest voice too. But you’d never know, Bruno just makes it sounds as effortless as he was telling you about it… amazing.
– ‘Runaway Baby’ – The song linked to above is the song that sold me on Bruno Mars and made me buy his album. I’d heard ‘The Lazy Song’ which I really don’t like (sorry!) and that turned me off, but then I heard this and saw this performance and it made me want to hear more of this guy. Great thing about this is how catchy the riff is, and how simple the melody is, but the rhythms are infectious. Love it.
And I’ll leave you with…
The best thing about Bruno (I feel) is how he marries technical ability with songwriting ability and has brought that out into the market relatively late in his life. He was in his mid-20s before he started to make waves across the world, which is late by some standards, but had been a successful songwriter in his own right for other artists. I think that is very encouraging for those who harbour desires of a musical career but think that because they are not 18 anymore then they can’t make it. Bruno stands apart and shows that this isn’t true. His technical ability is amazing, but he uses that to great effect to serve the songs he rights, which are immensely catchy in their own right.
In short, Bruno rocks, have a listen. The songs might seem impossible to some, but with the right guidance they are totally achievable. Also, let me know if there are any other artists you’d like me to look at.