By the time of his official debut release, Bruno Mars
was already known as a genre-defying (hip-hop/pop/R&B) triple-threat (singer/songwriter/producer) of a hitmaker (co-writer of Flo Rida
’s “Right Round”/co-writer and guest vocalist on B.o.B.
’s “Nothin’ on You”). Instead of introducing his solo career with the guest-star filled, everywhere-at-once, and possibly-too-big album, someone made the brilliant decision to slowly introduce him with this humble EP, a four-song and surprisingly sparse effort that leans towards pop while focusing on the man’s songwriting. Top pick is the opening "Somewhere in Brooklyn," which chases after the elusive perfect woman (“Red Nike high-tops/Listening to hip-hop”) with an emo-pop backing track. "The Other Side" does the groovy trick of putting guests B.o.B.
in the wayback machine for a ‘60s-flavored rave-up, while the two closing numbers are both bittersweet ballads that could please David Cook
or Jason Mraz
’s fans. The short set of easy, breezy tunes may not leave the listener begging for more, but it will make most pop fans open to the idea. With the R&B crown already on lock, that’s quite the pre-album tee-up.