His sophomore album is off to a safe start with Young Girls, an R&B pop ballad reminiscent of his hit Just The Way You Are. As the song hits its expansive, orchestral chorus, the Hawaiian native's heart-wrenching vocals prevail.
Locked Out of Heaven works less well: it's a busy tune with too much to react to. Bouncy yelps fill up the background, with scattered guitar and bass playing in staccato and vocals sliding on and off beat.
Moonshine slows things down, slotting happily into the "quiet storm" genre. With moody lyrics about jaded passion, the track captivates with a jazzy flow and a retro disco groove. Mars' soothing voice in the chorus reveals both power and raw emotions.
Every song is a gem, although some shine brighter than others. But the musician's feel-good creativity sparkles throughout.
YP Rating: 5/5