Single Review: Bruno Mars – ‘Just The Way You Are’

A bad day at work? A day at school or college comprised of switched-off light bulbs and question marks? Feeling like it’s really not your week?

There are times, like those generalised above, when you just feel like hitting “Pause” and straightening things out, like your self-negligence to your own welfare has been ignored and you need to feel respected again. So when you get home from that tiring day and work of school, you whack the radio on and settle down to listen to… ‘Dynamite’? ‘Party Girl’? ‘Kickstarts’? Ermm no, that’s not what I had in mind, and judging by the way you just covered your ears as you bolted to the medicine cabinet, reached for the Paracetamol and went for a nice lay down in the freezer to cool off, it wasn’t what you were expecting either.

Thankfully, there are songs in existence that float around here and there that make you feel like you’re on top of the world, like someone is really giving you all their time, devotion and love, as well as their materialistic goods. ‘Just The Way You Are’ is such a song. A song that makes you feel good about yourself, for who you are. As cheesy and as clichéd as it sounds, it’s a song that relishes it’s sentiments on you as you are, with Bruno’s soothing vocals echoing the sound of a Michael Jackson aged 20-25.


For many years, Bruno sat in the background only writing songs for bigger names but now, breaking into the pop mainstream with his first début single, he needs to make a lasting impression with the general public. Plumping for a song with more gushy sentiments than a Wilkinson’s St. Valentine’s Day card is quite a risky option – especially in this musical climate – but even though Bruno doesn’t invent his own style or give any impression he’s stamping his own trademark on the song, he’s most certainly making what on paper is actually quite dull, into something quite special.

Of course, there are times within the song which give the impression he still needs a little work in the What Love Is Really Like department because, as good as it is, that her hair “falls perfectly without her trying”, this kind of compliment really isn’t the basis of a functional relationship, is it? Sure it’s nice to exchange sweet comments every now and then, but cramming enough to sink a boat into the space of three-and-a-half minutes is a tad excessive.

Moving on to what’s good about the song – and there is plenty – at one point it manages to sound like a trendy R&B, smoothly-crooned ballad with an accompanying piano track. But when it hits the chorus, it becomes an uplifting song with a skipping beat and a backing that sounds like Snow White’s 7 Dwarves whistling away as they work down the mine. It’s a brilliant contrast, and the marching beat throbs like the raised pulse of an exciting puppy.

The video does something nifty with some tape too.

Isn’t that the girl from that film with the cars!? I knew it.

Clichéd it may be, cheesy is most definitely is, but those detractions are nothing against what it has buckets of: charm. It’s 60’s doo-wop styled rhythm and sound help Bruno’s soulful voice glide over the music, happily fascinating over a girl’s beauty, which is much less derogatory than calling your loved one (night stand, in some case) a “shawtie”.

Rating: 4.0 STARS

Download: September 20, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’

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1 Comment

  1. Gerard McGarry

    Took a while for this one to grow on me, to be honest. It doesn’t quite have the immediacy of appeal that his collaborations with B.o.B and Travie McCoy did.

    On the other hand, listen to it objectively, and it’s a pleasant enough pop ballad. More of a showcase for his songwriting skills and rather impressive vocal chops than a classic single, but it still helps to define him as something more than featuring Bruno Mars.

    Love the video. I remember the cassette tape viral viral artwork that was doing the rounds a couple of years back, so to see the same thing, but animated is excellent.

    On a final note, when I was doing my review ‘splurge’ on Saturday, my daughter was watching along and commented that Bruno looks very like the JLS boys in that video. She’s not wrong.

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