Single Review: Bruno Mars – ‘Marry You’

“Instead of a capturing a convincing moment of serendipity it comes off as desperation”

3 STARS

Digital Release: August 28, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

Anyone with a memory that serves them well will be able to easily cast a nostalgic glance back to the day they had their first music lesson; the kind of music lesson where fragile childhood friendships and pacts turn to dust as everyone squabbles noisily for the maracas or the xylophone, for fear of being assigned the humiliating task of playing the triangle. With that image clear in your head it’s not an impossible task to remember having to write your first ever song lyrics. As always, work like this starts with a groan but quickly transforms into a ‘Who Can Say The Sweetest Thing About A Loved One?’ contest as pencils scribble furiously and tuneless intonation fills the classroom.

Now, if you’re with me so far, imagine Bruno Mars’ younger self sat in the corner holding a plastic guitar and humming to himself with his eyes closed, being the serious artist he is. On the piece of paper in front of him (which has been subject to many rubbings out and frantic re-writings) you’ll find the lyrics to this, the fourth single from his second album ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’, ‘Marry You’.

Honestly though, listening to the lyrics is like being transported back to a time when “Don’t say no, no, no, no, no/Just say, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah/And we‘ll go, go, go, go, go/If you’re ready” and talk of dancing juice and wedding chapels were stanzas of lyrics so finely crafted with utmost care and devotion that even the hardest catch in the classroom – the fit one with the freckles and the gingham scrunchy – would be swooning for days, weeks even. Mars’ aim is a little ill-judged though, because after the first week of playground dating and all the onlookers get bored of shy little kisses by the tree or under the wooden climbing frame, he’s going to be dropped like a hot potato, and he’ll be left standing in an awkward position: neck outstretched, eyes closed, lips puckered (just perfect for playground bullies to take advantage of) before even realising his sentiments wore off quicker than the enamel on the teeth of anyone who listens to ‘Marry You’.

He’s clearly going for a theme of spontaneity over rational thought but instead of a capturing a convincing moment of serendipity it comes off as desperation with his soaring vocals – still as impressive as the equally overpowering niceties we heard on ‘Just The Way You Are’ – and he’ll agree to marry whomsoever is present.

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1 Comment

  1. Gerard McGarry

    Possibly his first mis-step from this album, I think. He did a great ballad with Just The Way You Are, and should have left it there. Marry You is underwhelming and I’m not sure marriage as a concept has much place in the charts these days!

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