Day 113: A favorite song from the 10s.
“Locked Out Of Heaven” – Bruno Mars
Yes, it’s another “decades” entry. And, as before, you should know I’m technically breaking the rules with my dates. For an explanation, go here.
One of the artists emerging in the last few years that has really impressed me is Bruno Mars. This guy has been phenomenally successful in his short recording career, and has shown his talents in many areas. In addition to singing and dancing, he’s an accomplished producer; he’s co-written a slew of international hits both for himself and for others; and he can play multiple instruments. On top of that, he’s got a sense of showmanship that’s amazing. (As evidenced by his Grammy appearances and Super Bowl half-time show.)
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Despite all of this, he wasn’t an automatic choice for this post. And I remind you the challenge is “a” favorite, not “the” favorite. (Amazing the difference a single article can make.) There have been a number of songs that I like released since 2010, so it was a bit of a toss-up for a while.
But one thing kept bringing me back:
I know you’re now making that face that says “Um, what?” So, more specifically (or for those that need more context):
Which doesn’t seem like much. But when you add it to the riff of the song, it becomes the little detail that makes it memorable:
Yep, it’s that “Ooh!” that turns it from your average, everyday song to an earworm. Okay, “average, everyday” may be underplaying it a bit. This was already a very catchy song to begin with, and it probably would have been a hit even without that flourish. But this is where the production experience comes in. It can be those little details that take a song from “meh” to good, or good to great. But not every artist (or producer for that matter) figures that out. Bruno Mars did, giving the song that little bit extra. The result: huge international hit.
In spite of that, I like it. For my money, it’s the highlight of Unorthodox Jukebox.
But as I mentioned, it had competition:
- “Rolling In The Deep” – Adele. She has an amazing voice. The real deal. And now supposedly in a very happy relationship. Can she write an album without complete heartbreak?
- “50 Ways To Say Goodbye” – Train. Despite totally ripping off Andrew Lloyd Webber (of all people) this song has possibly the lyric of the decade: “She was caught in a mudslide/Eaten by a lion/Got run over by a crappy purple Scion.” We know what song won’t be part of Scion’s marketing any time soon.
- “Animal” – Neon Trees. I really like this band. They have that cool retro-80s vibe about them.
- “Instamatic” – Vertical Horizon. I like most of what Vertical Horizon does, but Rush’s Neil Peart on drums gives this song added punch.
- “Uncharted” – Sara Bareilles. This song feels like a lost Ben Folds Five single in some ways. Or maybe Nine Days. (Another band that didn’t get their due.) At any rate, she’s got some good stuff as well.
- “Bam Bam” – King Charles. Always the bride’s maid…
But, in the end, “Locked Out Of Heaven” was it. It’s a really good song overall. It’s got the beat, it’s got the riffs, and it’s got the “Ooh!”.
What more do you need?