Bruno Mars is one of the brightest names to emerge in the pop world over the last few years as an singer, writer and producer (as one-third of the Smeezingtons).

He returns today after nearly a year away with “Locked Out Of Heaven,” the first single from his sophomore set, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” out Dec. 11.

[More after the jump...]


The cascading, uptempo pop song feels in some ways like it was crafted like Frankenstein’s monster:  Parts of his vocal are redolent of Gotye in “Someone I Used To Know,” then there’s the “Starships”-like electro-clash whizzes and, toward the end, a Skrillex-lite dub step drop.

But unlike Frankenstein, Mars is a skilled musical doctor. Take  these various factions and throw in a Police/‘80s rock skipping beat plus a touch of The Romantics' "What I Like About You" and you’ve got a hit. It might be more along the lines of “The Lazy Song” than ubersmashes “Just The Way You Are” or “Grenade,” but it is a hit nonetheless.

What ties it all together is Mars’ singing and the catchy little background vocals that keep the song moving downstream at a rapid pace, despite the fact that he's heartbroken. Even clumsy lyrics like “your sex takes me to paradise” can’t diminish that joy that the beats and melody bring.

Forget the lyrics, just listen to the vocals and the rhythm and this one will be embedded in your mind in less than 24 hours.