TSJ: Wherein Bruno Mars decides that “Uptown Funk!” was far too subtle. He’s rocking levels of braggadocious swagger unseen since Mystikal’s reign, pulls in a guy who goes by the name Mr. TalkBox (most recently heard on TobyMac’s Christian #1 “Feel It”, so that’s something) to handle the Roger Troutman-esque intro, and the production by Shampoo Press & Curl (really, that’s their name) is straight-up 1982 Ohio funk. (Did you know that Zapp, Lakeside, and Slave were all from the Buckeye state? They were.) Not to mention that amidst the song’s references to pinky rings, pimping, and Mars’s, er, “rocket,” you’ve got the the lyric “Got to blame it on Jesus, hashtag ‘blessed’!” hitting new heights of brilliant ridiculousness (or ridiculous brilliance). Much like “Uptown Funk!,” there’s a real irony here that “24K Magic” would’ve likely been ignored by U.S. top 40 radio had it come out in 1982 (as Sean Ross superbly broke down 2 years ago), but today it’s already receiving saturation levels of airplay, and will likely continue to do so into the winter months. This is the summer jam we needed but didn’t get this year, but with a song this hot, I’ll take it any time of year. “24K Magic” is one of the jams of 2016, and will end up being one of the defining musical memories of the year. It goes against every single dominant grain in pop music right now (and, for that matter, R&B too), which helps it stand out that much more brightly. Check the shine on this.
This is one of my favorite things I wrote for The Singles Jukebox in 2016. Fitting, since this is one of my favorite singles of 2016. Nobody’s got Bruno’s swag right now: no one.