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Album of the Month: Bruno Mars Dazzles In Debut Album

Best new artist. Defined by the Grammy Assosiation as an award given to “a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist” it is a phrase that bestows artists that capture the pop world above all else. Beyond a dictionary definition is a feeling. When an unknown artist sang the chorus to the song of the summer we knew it. When a high pitched soulful collaborator appeared on multiple platinum singles we knew it. Now, on the day of his debut album release, we are sure. Bruno Mars could be the most talented, most decorated new artist the music world has seen in decades.

After seeing huge success with “Nothin On You,” and “Billionaire,” B.o.B. and Travie Mccoy’s respective debut singles this summer, it was clear we were witnessing something special. Titled “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” Mars’ debut album could be one of the most anticipated albums of 2010 and hits shelves today. Aside from two huge singles sitting right up front, the album is littered with silky smooth b-sides, words that could also describe Mars himself.

Often changing paces in back to back songs, Mars and company did a fantastic job of keeping things fresh. From the beautiful ballad “Our First Time” into the rocking, beat driven “Runaway Baby” the album breathes taking on a life of its own. Two of the best songs on the album fall dead center, in a back to back fashion. “The Lazy Song” is an upbeat inspired jam with a clear hip hop twist. As the title implies, the song is best listened to while lying in bed (yes we’ve tried it). As the slow jam ends, “Marry You” begins with a running drum beat and very over the top production. When Mars’ voice finally cuts through you realize once more how perfect his voice can sound.

There is a slight break in the action after this track (#6). The next few songs appeared on a quiet EP release from Mars earlier this summer. In spite of this, “Talking To The Moon” combines one of the best vocal performances of the album with beautiful production and a reverberated piano. One thing noticably missing from this album are cameos. Unlike many of the other big pop releases this summer (see Eminem, B.o.B., Travie Mccoy, Katy Perry), Mars had very few cameos. Unlike the songs on which he recorded earlier this year, Mars stands on his own two feet in his singles and right up until the last few tracks of the album which feature Damian Marley, B.o.B. and Cee Lo Brown.

Regardless of how well “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” performs on the charts, Bruno Mars has demonstrated that pure talent can shine through. An artist with a pop flair that can hit the high notes with anyone, this is an album that we might still be talking about this time next year. Until then, let October 2010′s album of the month go to Bruno Mars’ impressive debut.

Just in case you missed it, check out TAM’s review of Bruno Mars EP “It’s Better If You Don’t Understand”

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