“Hey Mommy, what is that contraption that Bruno Mars is making figures out of in his video for ‘Just the Way You Are?’”
“Honey, that’s called a cassette and he’s using the tape inside it to create different images. About 25 years ago, that’s how people made music portable. Cars had cassette players. Then the CD made them extinct. What? I didn’t hear you? What’s a CD?”
Not only is Mars’ video a sweet paean to love, but it’s a musical history lesson. We know for promotional value ---and so we can pick him out of a line-up---the record company needed to show the actual Mars canoodling with the object of his affection, but we wish the whole video had been comprised of cassette tape images. The piano is really awesome, as is the portrait of his girl with the hair made out of cassette tape. That could catch on as a way to recycle any remaining cassette tapes: make wigs out of them.
Oh, I’m getting horribly sidetracked. That could be because there’s really nothing going on here other than the cute cassette tape origami. We applaud the message in a pop world rife with images that make girls feel like they aren’t good enough, but we wish the song had a little more oomph to it. Plus, Mars and the girl have zero chemistry. She seems to be amazing the just the way she is because she can rock a pair of Daisy Dukes and an off-shoulder t-shirt and put her hand in front of her mouth and look coy. Aim a little higher, Bruno.
Now he would have really impressed us if he’d used an 8-track cartridge, but you’d have to be old enough to remember another little song called “Just the Way You Are” to know about those relics.