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Pitch Please: In defense of Bruno Mars

9 February 2014 By Kris Jones, Columnist No Comments

Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl should have been the death of me.

I stated in a previous column that I wasn’t a fan of Bruno’s music, mainly because of the unbearable hype and constant airplay that plagued the beginning of the decade during the “Doo Wops & Hooligans” era. “Grenade” and “The Lazy Song” are the devil’s theme music and no one can tell me any different.

After his halftime performance at the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, I went ahead and downloaded “Unorthodox Jukebox.”

I had been meaning to download it since I found myself belting out the ooohs in “When I Was Your Man” or shrugging my shoulders way too energetically during the beginning guitar riff of “Treasure.”

I don’t know whether to attribute the change of heart to the retro-inspired route Bruno decided to take on the record or me just finally getting why people enjoy his music, but whatever the reason. Bruno’s set was a mix of his hits from both albums and was more focused on the performance factor rather than the visual.

He channeled James Brown and Elvis with his dance moves, shuffling and hitting splits, his vocals were spot on for the most part and he was having fun.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers coming in for a “Give It Away” was strange but entertaining because who doesn’t want to thrash about wildly with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on national television? How could anyone call this boring?

Some people called the performance forgettable, others called it a waste of precious time that the Denver Broncos could have came back and won the game.

That last statement was a reach, but you get the idea. Maybe after two years of extreme visual aids, obscene gesture controversies and hilariously gif-able moments, Mars was not the cup of tea that the public wanted. Miley Cyrus for 2015?

The only question I have is, why Bruno Mars?

Of all the artists who have extensive back catalogues of hits compared to Bruno’s two, what made the “we want Bruno Mars” push?

It was a

no-brainer for some acts like Madonna and Beyoncé, they brought demographics that could care less about most athletic events just as long as they get some life from their queens during that 15-minute performance slot.

However, it isn’t the worst choice the people running the show could have chosen.

They could have gotten The Black Eyed Peas again.

But since it was the most watched halftime show in the history of halftimes, in conjunction with the fact that “Unorthodox Jukebox” and “Doo Wops & Hooligans” shot back into the top five on iTunes right after, I’m sure Billboard’s Artist of The Year could care less about a couple of mixed reviews.


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