Best Bruno Mars Songs: Top 5 Tracks, According To Experts

Bruno Mars is an American pop star whose prolific productions, frequent collaborations, and numerous hit singles proves his status as an American music icon. Mars made a big splash in the music industry with twin hits in 2010, “Just the Way You Are” and as a guest spot on B.O.B.’s track “Nothin’ On You.” Since that time, he has filled the air waves with hit after hit on the Billboard Charts. With such a wealth of music to consider, picking the best Bruno Mars songs is a difficult task.

From “All Shook Up” to “Uptown Girl” to “Uptown Funk,” music has gone through many changes over the decades. Not just stylistically, though. According to new research, lyrics to pop songs have grown darker and edgier over time. Researchers at Lawrence Technological University studied popular music lyrics from the 1950s to 2016. With the use of quantitative analytics, scientists marked trends of lyrical sentiments in songs covering seven decades. In their results, university data scientists and co-authors Kathleen Napier and Lior Shamir wrote that their research shows a “clear and statistically significant change in sentiments expressed through the lyrics of popular music, generally towards a more negative tone.”

Although few people would consider Mars’ music catalogue to be dark, it is certainly edgier, making frequent references to alcohol, sex, and drugs. Despite this, his dance-hit and ballad tracks are some of the most memorable tunes of the 2010s. When pop music is done well it captures the vibe of an era. Recently, senior author Pascal Wallisch and his research team look a critical look at pop music trends. Overall, songs released in the 21st century — 2000 to 2015 — were the best identified, but tracks released from 1960 to 1999 didn’t lag far behind. In fact, all songs from this latter 40-year period enjoyed roughly the same degree of popularity.

Pop music resonates with listeners and Bruno Mars’ catalogue is packed with numerous hits and well-known numbers. Here is our list of the top five best Bruno Mars songs to take you back to the 2010s. Let us know your favorites in the comments below!

Bruno Mars at the 2011 American Music Awards
Bruno Mars at the 2011 American Music Awards (Photo by Kathy Hutchins on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Bruno Mars Songs, According to Fans

1. “Uptown Funk” (2014)

The top song on our list captured the American nation’s zeitgeist as an energetic celebration of music and dance. “Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars is the stuff of legend. Everything from the big-band brass background to the video with hints of the king of pop’s influences is next level. While this song didn’t win as many Grammys as 24K Magic, it is a fan favorite,” raves Chaos Spin

“Uptown Funk” rapidly rose to the top of the charts. “The 80s-inspired funk-pop track was a massive hit, rising to the top of the charts in 19 countries and breaking the Top 10 of another 15. It even went on to win Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance,” offers Music Grotto.

“Topping this list is none other than ‘Uptown Funk’ – the best Bruno Mars song (although he’s technically just the featured artist)! The fourth track on Mark Ronson’s album Uptown Special, this song won the Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop/Duo Group Performance while topping the Billboard charts and selling over 6 million copies. And that’s just in the United States alone,” adds Live 365.

2. “Locked Out of Heaven” (2012)

Bruno Mars’ best tracks somehow feel familiar even with the first listen. ‘”Locked Out Of Heaven’ received immediate comparisons to The Police upon its release, and rightfully so: the reggae-tinged, funky rock horny banger fits in seamlessly between ‘Message In A Bottle’ and ‘Can’t Stand Losing You.’ That pent-up, euphoric chorus (‘you make me feel like…I been locked out of heaven…’) — with its urgent crescendo of alarm sounds and a pounding pulse — is the signature stuff of Bruno, a songwriter for the knack with some of the sharpest hooks in modern pop,” according to Pop Crush.

In “Locked Out of Heaven”, Mars pays tribute to the Police without using an audio sample, though it did inspire several remix mashups. “‘Locked Out Of Heaven,’ was released in October 2012 as the lead single from Unorthodox Jukebox, and it soared straight to No.1 in the US and No.2 in the UK. With co-production from Mark Ronson, Locked Out Of Heaven also won Best Song at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards, and more than deserves its place among the best Bruno Mars songs,” details Dig!

This absolute banger of a song dominated the charts in the winter season of 2012 and 2013 and was showered with awards. “Bruno Mars’ Locked out of Heaven was released in 2012, and to date, the song remains the first single by an artist to top Billboard Hot 100, Radio, Digital, and On-Demand charts simultaneously. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number one and remained in that position for six weeks. It sold approximately 92,000 copies in the first week, and the song earned a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year,” writes The Richest.

3. “Grenade” (2010)

An early hit for Mars, “Grenade” was an international chart-topper. “The melodramatic ballad has Mars expressing how far he would go for the one he loves even though it’s not reciprocated. Mars belts the power ballad, offering the most passionate vocal work of his career,” writes Rolling Stone.

“From his debut album ‘Doo-Wops and Hooligans,’ this pop ballad gives a message of unrequited love and how Bruno’s heart was broken, despite his best efforts. Bruno later said that the song was inspired by ‘his love for a girl who did not love him back’. He admitted to be ‘a bit of a drama queen in that song’ and that the track was therapeutic for him,” offers Smooth Radio

Heartbreak is a relatable topic that Mars frequently sings about. “The power behind this ballad is palpable even over a car radio, let alone in concert. The sort of obsessive, unrequited love he talks about in ‘Grenade’ is both touching and alarming. On the one hand, it’s romantic to love someone enough to ‘catch a grenade’ for them, but in this case, that love is very much one-sided. Grenade is the ultimate ‘I got dumped’ song of the 2010s,” claims Chaos Spin.

4. “Treasure” (2013)

Bruno Mars’ greatest hits have broad appeal and can be at home at a wedding reception, dance club, or at the halftime show of the Super Bowl. “’Treasure’ was the third single to be released from ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ in 2013 and wound up being Mars’ seventh Top 10 hit in the US. In fact, it was Top 10 in nine different countries and has been compared to Michael Jackson’s music. In the US, the song was certified five times platinum by the RIAA and it appeared in his setlist for the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show,” writes Music Grotto.

“Retro (24K) magic has become the entertainer’s sweet spot, and the bass guitar-driven verses maximize Mars’ dynamic rasp. Sure, the chorus sounds like a more Top 40-ready iteration of Breakbot’s ‘Baby I’m Yours,’ (and Breakbot eventually won a song credit for ‘Treasure’), but Mars and the single’s cowriters crafted 2 minutes and 58 seconds of earworm joy that truly puts the ‘inspired’ in ‘inspired by,’” opines Pop Crush

Much of Mars’ music catalogue is meant for dancing and “Treasure” is no exception. “Apart from its upbeat tempo and catchy melody, ‘Treasure’ stands out for its nostalgic disco vibe and dance-friendly beat. With its timeless sound, this song appeals to a wide audience and has become a staple at parties and events,” explains SingersRoom.

5. “That’s What I Like” (2017)

As one of his more recent hits, “That’s What I like” is another track that exemplifies his now iconic style. “At this point, Mars knows how to write a pop hit, arguably, better than anyone in music and his latest chart-topper proves he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” details

More than the lyrics, the dense sound and complex production creates a richly layered musical track. “To truly appreciate this hit single, listen closely to its intricate beats and catchy hooks as they convey not only an infectious groove but also a resounding message of strength. Even if you had ‘nothin’ on you,’ Bruno Mars would still serenade you with this catchy tune,” claims Singers Room.

“In the song, Bruno tells his lady love all the things he likes. Those things include beautiful beach houses, extravagant foods, and fancy cars. While the background and lyrics of the song are simple, it sets Bruno up as a rich man ready to spoil his love,” posits Live 365.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.


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