The Problem With... Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are"

When I first heard the name Bruno Mars, the immediate thought that came to mind is a classically trained singer with a bouncer's build--like a more fit Cee Lo.

Imagine my disappointment when "Bruno Mars" ended up being a lanky crooner.

First time we heard of Bruno was on the chorus of the B.O.B hit, "Nothin' On You."  And I got nothin' on that track. It's pretty good. It left me with a new visual impression of Bruno, though, thanks to the video; it was etched by that goofy, vintage hat he probably stole from a high-school-theater douchbag. Great voice, though.

The second time we heard Bruno was in Travie McCoy's track "Billionaire," which came out back in the summer. Since, this time, I saw the guy with a hat and a guitar, my thoughts about him soured a bit more.

C'mon: Guitar guy much, Bruno?

Nonetheless, he's marching forward unfazed. Now he's since released a solo track, called "Just the Way You Are." And it keeps laying on the flattery that started with "Nothin' On You."

The lyrics are simple and to the point--and Bruno admits as much. The one hang up is the line, "Her nails, her nails / I could kiss them all day if she'd let me." Uh, buddy, you'd wear out her polish, and slobbering on them ain't sanitary.

The video, meanwhile, adds on another layer of pretense to Mars' style; someone listening to a cassette tape. I know, folks. The prevailing Good Records wisdom is that "You can't roll a joint on a digital download." But, cassette tapes? They don't even have great sound quality compared to a CD or LP. The appeal is all the DIY nature of cassettes and the physical mix tape trend from a decade ago. Bit late to the party, eh Bruno?

But, whatever. As long as you have the flakes to keep it going, it's all good. I guess.