The versatile singer and songwriter Bruno Mars, who has ascended from precocious Elvis Presley impersonator to one of the most reliable hitmakers of his generation, dropped a new track and video on Thursday night. Called “24K Magic,” the song pushes Mars in a heavier, more propellant direction than his earlier chart busters.
Unlike those mom-and-kid friendly singalong jams — “Grenade,” “Marry You,” “The Lazy Song” and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” among them — his new Las Vegas-set jam features jet-setting, cussing, booty shaking, gambling, drinking and driving.
(Warning: Video includes offensive language.)
The song is the title track to Mars’ highly anticipated new album, which is due out on Nov. 18 via Atlantic Records.
“I’m a dangerous man with some money in my pocket,” sings Mars at one point, his cadence bouncing as if borrowed from Kendrick Lamar. In the wickedly catchy chorus, Mars acknowledges that all the pretty girls surrounding him are “waking up the rocket” — then critiques an unnamed other by telling her to “fix your face it’s not my fault they be jackin’.”
Donning bathrobe and slippers, he devotes a verse to hustlers and gangstas while moving in synchronized step with dancers down a hotel hallway. A funky synth bass tone on loan from Parliament’s “Flashlight” drives the bottom end as tinkly high-end keyboard melody loops. While he rides what looks like a Jet Ski through the Bellagio’s massive fountain, Mars urges his people to move.
As the camera pans across a row of ladies’ butts, Mars toasts them with champagne.
Viva Las Vegas, indeed.
There’s a lot of terrible music out there. For tips on the stuff that’s not, follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit