January 17, 2011

Bruno Mars Has His Hands Full of Destruction

When making my year-end list, I had trouble classifying Bruno Mars' "Grenade." I don't think it's a good song, but I also can't turn it off when it's on (which is all the time).

If you didn't make it 30 seconds to the chorus, let me share with you the insane melodrama you missed:

I'd catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I'd jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya
I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won't do the same

The rhymes seem lifted from an elementary school crush poem, and they're delivered with a passionate straight face, but unfortunately, it seems devoid of irony. This, coming from a guy who was a co-writer of Cee-Lo Green's hugely effective "Fuck You," seems like a real shame. In the chorus of that song, the stereotypical poor, jealous, "pain in my chest" lyrics are decimated by a resounding twist: "Fuck you, and fuck her too!" In "Grenade," Bruno Mars ignores the opportunity to go WAY over the top with the chorus, and instead settles for repeating his generic ways of expressing masochistic machismo. Catching a grenade is fucking ridiculous, but it should really just be the jumping off point for something more awesome.

When I listen to the song, I like to imagine him taking things to the next level--same rhyme scheme, but with crazier non sequitur:

I'd catch a grenade for ya
Spray my apartment with Glade for ya
I'd change my name to Jermaine for ya
You know I'd eat yogurt plain for ya
I would drink Jim Jones' grape Flavor Aid
And blow the dust from your Nintendo Games
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But it wouldn't be the same.

Who knows? If he performed the song my way, maybe he would have taken the song even higher than #1. #0 possibly.

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