"Locked Out of Heaven"

Bruno Mars is one of pop's courtliest young stars – a gentleman through and through, from his chivalric oaths ("I'd catch a grenade for ya") to the rakish Sinatra-style tilt of his fedora. But Mars' new single doesn't bother with old-fashioned euphemism. "Your sex takes me to paradise," he cries. The song is about unbridled passion, but as usual with Mars, the aesthetic is tidy and impeccable, pop songcraft polished to a high-gloss gleam: jittery Police-esque rock-reggae verses that erupt, amid thunder-boom synths, into a steamrolling four-on-the-floor chorus. There are at least a half-dozen big hooks here, including the background grunts of "Oooh!" – for those who didn't realize that Bruno's serious about the sexy business.

From The Archives Issue 1168: October 25, 2012
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