Ok, 2016 sucks ass. Nearly everything about this year makes me want to vomit. In my 19 years of living, I have never wanted a year to end quicker. I could literally go on an hour rant on why this year has been horrible, but that would involve a lot of curse words and hand movements I just can’t convey through an article.

As I’ve said in past articles, the only light spot in this never-ending dark tunnel of elephant poop called a year is how much great music has come out. This year is very similar to 2011 and 2012, where many of the artists that made great music then have made even better music again in 2016. One of those artist is Bruno Mars. It has been almost 5 years since Bruno Mars has dropped a solo album. Unorthodox Jukebox was released 2012 and had hits like “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Treasure” that invaded the airways and made Jukebox one of the biggest albums of that year.

Now, 2016, Mars has dropped a new album, completely written and produced by him and a few friends. 24K Magic is, from top to bottom, an R&B album. The album from start to finish has a new jack swing vibe to it that brings you back to the golden age of R&B. Songs like the title track, “Chunky” and “Finesse” are R&B treats that perfectly embody the early 90s vibe that the album is striving for. On the flip side, you get some songs like “Too Good to Say Goodbye” and “Versace on the Floor” that are immediately remind you of Michael Jackson.

In the end, I think the album itself is confused. Out of the nine songs on the album, only 2 of them have potential to become everyone’s new favorite song. The title track, “24K Magic” and “Finesse” are pop-R&B perfection, full of instrumentation that is native to the 90s. The two songs act nearly as bookends for the average album. The material is produced very well, but it can come off gimmicky and directionless at times. The lyrics are great, but occasionally, they lack substance and a narrative. It seems as if there was no goal in mind when making the album. Many of the songs like “Perm”, “That’s What I Like” and “Straight Up & Down” show his swagger, but can be seen as boastful to some.

There is no question that Bruno Mars is a musical genius. He has written excellence for every from Cee Lo Green to Adele. There is no doubt that Bruno Mars is an icon and a legend in the making. Unfortunately, this album makes me question what the future looks like for him. The album in one word, is predictable. As a music lover, 24K Magic is an album that seems like Mars is still riding the waves of his GRAMMY-award winning song Uptown Funk, even though the tide has fallen.

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