Label: Elektra (NEK)
Bruno Mars' background as a songwriter coats every inch of his debut. These are impeccably crafted little pop masterpieces, designed to make you smile and sing along, and to showcase Mars' grainy tenor and deft touch with almost any genre. You want sunny, Jason Mraz-style love songs? Try "Count on Me." Sticky, dubby grooves? Check out the winsome "Liquor Store Blues," with Damian Marley. MJ? Cee-Lo? B.o.B.? They're all here in person or in spirit. Mars is almost too good a chameleon, refusing (or unable) to nail down a sound of his own. But he's got the charm and talent to pull it all off.