And just like that, the internet was a-floodin’ with hearts, stars, enamored emojis, and compliments, and for one brief moment, we were all united in the warm embrace of Hooliganism after Bruno Mars took Saturday Night Live by storm (and in flamingo pink at that). We can bicker about pop stars. We can fight about Adam Levine’s falsetto. We may fall down in fisticuffs over lip-syncing or awkward choreography, but we can also get giddy about a solid showing from a talent who’s been staying out of the headlines lately, and we can get real, real excited for their return. That’s exactly the kind of good cheer Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson brought to Saturday Night Live.
The crooner’s latest collaboration with ice-cold (as in cooler-than-cool) superproducer Ronson, “Uptown Funk” has been warmly received since its drop a couple of weeks ago, and the world has apparently been waiting with breath more bated than they even realized for new Mars tuneage. The single is the first offering from Ronson’s Uptown Special (which won’t see its release till the new year), but the euphoria was mostly thrown the “Grenade” singer’s way for every move he made and note he hit. Ever the likable dreamboat and Boy Next Door of the charts, Mars was able to strut a taut line between cheeky confidence and charm while keeping time with the throwback funk Ronson conjured up this time around. The fantastic neon splash behind him didn’t hurt the ’70s vibe in the slightest, nor did his moves, and Ronson let Mars and his dancers bask in the glow of the spotlight while he stood in the background, focusing on his riffs. If the in-studio audience was on their feet and dancing like maniacs, we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.
“Feel Right” brought about a couple surprises, with Mars taking a backup mic and Mystikal coming front and center. (Where’s he been since “Shake Ya Ass,” you say? Residing in Funky Town, apparently.) Again with the curveballs, SNL! Ronson and Mars looked like they were having a complete and total blast as they rode that bassline through “Feel Right,” and Mystikal’s percussive call-outs fit in perfectly with the bright instrumentation and sharp-dressed guys. If “Uptown Funk” and “Feel Right” are the first steps Ronson’s taking in a new direction, we can get on board with these tracks that feel like they were ripped from a Tarantino soundtrack.
As for the internet, everyone and their mama (seriously) fell for Bruno hook, line, and sinker, and someone should get Arsenio Hall a gig recapping SNL, because dude’s loving this season.
But really, someone hire Mr. Hall as their SNL correspondent.
Bruno Mars … & Mystical … was funkier than burning hair in a gas station restroom!!! #bananas
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 24, 2014
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