Following the stutter-stepping brightness of “Locked Out Of Heaven,” Bruno Mars returns to his mid-tempo ballad strong suite with “Young Girls.”

He first introduced the song when he appeared on “Saturday Night Live” a few weeks ago, and today, he released the studio version from his forthcoming sophomore studio set, “Unorthodox Jukebox.”

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Mars wasn’t born when Gary Puckett & The Union Gap had a huge hit with “Young Girl” or when The Knack hit it big with “My Sharona,” but he’s treading the same ground here: He knows he shouldn’t be tempted by these honeys (we’re not sure how “young” is “young” here), but he’s a boy who just can’t say no when it come to this particular temptation.

He makes it all sound so sweet, and as if he really is tortured by these young girls, i.e. groupies, who surround him: “Oh, I still dream of a simple life/Boy meets girl/makes her his wife/But love don’t exist when you live like this...All these roads still weave on/But I still drive them all night long/all night long.”

The melody and the vocal delivery are the keys here because, quite frankly, the lyrics are a little skeevy. We’re going to believe that by “young girl,” he means no one younger than 18.