By Stan Sy
Drop whatever you’re doing and listen to Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” now.
Are we good? Alright.
Let me call it here: “24K Magic” is a sleeper top-10 pick in this year’s top 100 charts.
Now, before you go apeshit at that call with the song having only been released for an hour, hear me out. 2016 has been a very “meh” year for pop music. At this time of the year, I (as a radio DJ) usually already have a shortlist of songs that could contend for the best earworm on our station’s Top 100. I’m pretty stumped that we’ve made it to October and I can’t single out one track that just defines 2016 in pop music.
There’s too much of the pop/EDM craze that’s saturated pop music that you can lump all of the year’s big hits under one cluster now. Hailee Steinfeld, Grey, and Zedd’s “Starving,” Major Lazer’s “Cold Water,” DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You,” all the hits the Chainsmokers cranked out this year… Man, it’s getting really hard to tell these songs apart. What more if you’re just a casual listener of pop music?
This is why “24K Magic” stands out. It’s different. It’s old school. And yet, it’s so fresh. It’s bringing to the table what Bruno himself and Mark Ronson did with “Uptown Funk” two years ago. Except this year, Bruno’s team did the smart thing and released it while the single could have qualified for the year-end charts. “Uptown Funk” couldn’t define 2014 because it came out at the tail end of it, plus, it was up against Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” and Demi Lovato’s “Let It Go,” which had spent too much time permeating the mainstream consciousness.
I’m not going to sing all of its praises, though; I still hate the vocoder bit at the start, but that’s because I don’t like autotune in general. So anything that reminds me of it just turns me off. But when the beat dropped and the real shit came out, it became obvious that we’ve got a hit on our hands.
So congratulations, Bruno Mars. You just stood out from the pack. Again. You just did it with better timing this time around. I can’t wait to play this song on our year-ender charts.