Single Of The Week: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic (Atlantic)
“Guess who’s comin’ back again…”. The man – Bruno Mars – putting an end to a 4 year hiatus with the aptly titled ’24K Magic’ as an appetizer to his album of the likes due to be released on Nov. 18, 2016.
And guess who’s suggested this to me… My Disco Soul Gold brother Gary Van den Bussche in an email saying: “Hey Frederic, Thought you might like this as it is currently using influences from, Zapp, Roger Troutman, One Way etc. Thought it might make you wanna get up and boogie down. Real good feel factor, have fun!”
Mars does (once again) a brilliant demonstration as to how the influences of Disco are stil alive. As to how they can bring an instant feel good impression. Something which we cruelly need in the instable world we’re currently livin’ in. And this is most likely what counts at the end.
To those who said Disco sucks back in the day, and didn’t do any better than spreading some depressive Electro sounds as an alternative. But also to US radio jock Steve Dahl who made his reputation while putting together the Disco Demolition Night back on Jul. 12, 1979… Bruno Mars comes up with a serious denial.
And to those who said here or there that Mars is a copycat, I’d be tempted to respond that we all are in the sense of getting our influences from our elders. Therefore makin’ of the latter a brilliant one, dontcha think?
So what is this jam about? “An invitation to party”, said Mars. And it definitely is, served by a terrific production by the likes of Shampoo Press & Curl along with The Stereotypes. From its vocoderized vocal intro courtesy of Byron Manard Chambers aka Mr. TalkBox. A performance that brings us back to the souvenir of the Troutman brothers (Zapp). If not of Tupac‘s memorable ‘California Love’. To its overall flow which has the flamboyance of Disco twisted with a bit a G-Rap attitude and the energy of P-Funk.
As for the sound treatment, it has the balance and the roughness of jams as crafted by Mtume back in the day. Remember ‘I Like It’? Meanwhile the (heavy) bassline has an undeniable parental link with joints by the likes of Ice Cube (‘It Was A Good Day’) or The Notorious B.I.G.‘s ‘Big Poppa’. Both of’em getting their influence from The Isley Brothers‘ ‘Between The Sheets’. The sparklingness of the synths parts along with the guitar lines adding a rocking good feeling to the whole.
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