Thanksgiving has passed but I still feel the need to say thanks, especially to one talented singing man named Bruno Mars for bringing that ol' thing back with his latest album, 24K Magic. As an 80s baby and 90s kid, I've been really missing that classic R&B sound from back in my day and I guess I wasn't the only one. Bruno must've been jonesing for the same and decided to do something about it! Fortunately, he was able to capture the fun and silly side of that era while maintaining the underlying soul which is necessary in order to properly represent that key moment in music. And honestly, with all the crazy shit that has been happening in the world, this album is very much needed and that, my friend, is one of the main reasons why I have been replaying this album so hard lately.
Granted, music can be used for many different roles. For instance, music can be a source of reflection that holds up a mirror to society to say "Hey, look at yourself." Solange's latest album is a perfect example of that. Music can also be an introspective work of art that can truly make you feel something deeply at the core. Frank Ocean's Blond is a great example of that. Furthermore, music can be a wonderful therapist that motivates and inspires you to be the best you, you can be. Anything by India Arie can do just that. (Sidenote: I call India my musical therapist for a reason.) However, sometimes, you simply want to hear music that makes you feel upbeat and alive. For me, Bruno Mars has accomplished that with this LP.
From the dazzling opener, 24K Magic to the sweet closer that is reminiscent to the Jackson 5's Never Can Say Goodbye, this record brings a certain lightness, humor, and nostalgia that makes you want to wear bright baggy clothes, wear bamboo earrings, romance your boo thang, watch the movie, House Party and dance extra hard. With the many layers in this album, it seems like Bruno invited some legendary influences from the 80s and 90s to one big party from the super funky Perm that would make James Brown proud to Straight Up & Down that reminds me of one of my favorite 90s R&B groups, Hi-Five to the ultimate 90s party anthem, Finesse that brings the golden days of Bobby Brown back to life. Additionally, his vocals shine throughout the record, adlibbing at the perfect moments to evoke strong emotions even while being playful and cheeky.
So with all these good vibes, it is no surprise that Mr. Mars has been able to reach a milestone with this record, being the first artist to have a #1 single, #1 album and #1 video at the same time and sell 1 million tickets for his upcoming 24K Magic tour in one day!
Apparently, during these intense times, a lot of us needed a little gold magic to bring some joy in our lives and that is why I have 24K Magic on repeat because it makes me want to dance, sing and forget about my troubles! And can't we all use that break from time to time? I think so.