Review: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars

24K Magic by Bruno Mars24K Magic is the album where Bruno Mars embraces the whole throwback shtick he began devoting himself to in Unorthodox Jukebox. That’s pretty much the lane he sticks in: 80s and 90s soul, making that comparison to Michael Jackson very clear at many points. And yet it doesn’t feel like he’s just ripping off a sound. It doesn’t feel disingenuous or faked. Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen Bruno perform and thoroughly enjoyed it: he’s not capturing a sound, he’s embracing it. That said, the first half feels like he’s going through the motions, while the second half – particularly the last three tracks – is when things go from homage to something you just know he’d do. But it’s nice to have this album around. 24K Magic is a solid performer, and while he’s not got much to prove, it’s nice to see Bruno at least try to get more out of nostalgia. [NB]3/5


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