Why Bruno Mars’ Doo Wop Doesn’t Do It For Women Of Color

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Bruno Mars at MTV VMAs 2011Bruno Mars has the looks, the voice and the talent, but there’s still a disconnect. For some reason, not everyone is feeling the new school crooner. He’d catch a grenade for us. He’s told us that all those other girls had nothing on us. And most of all, he told us he loves us just the way we are. So what’s the problem ladies–well, sistas–why aren’t we head over heels (or at least willing to put heels over head) for Bruno Mars?

Are we not convinced by the Grammy winner’s cooler-than-the-other-side-of-the-pillow, Fedora-rocking image? What about his sweet, pleading, I-mean-every-word vocals?

It’s not like we don’t enjoy unconventional soul like–John Mayer, Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke–but it seems that Bruno’s soul is a facade put on by the powers that be at his record label. Motown Records wasn’t even feeling the Filipino and Puerto Rican singer/songwriter, as he was let go from an unfruitful deal with them. You can never fool the listening public and personally, I don’t buy it. Instead of closing my eyes, snapping my fingers and getting lost in Bruno Mars’ visit to Motown, I get irritated. It feels as if Bruno’s music comes off a little cheesy and almost whiny, but not in that good Keith Sweat-kind of way.

It takes equal parts swag, talent and looks to get panties thrown at you on stage while you croon your heart out. Male singers like Trey Songz, Usher, Tyrese and Maxwell can all testify to that. I’m actually the first to admit that I’m weak over a well-done nod to yesteryear, but Bruno Mars’ doo-wop infested pop sound just may not be enough to strike a cord with the sistas.

As the years go by, music changes and so do our tastes. Pop music is definitely taking over and overshadowing the heart and soul of most artists on the top of the charts with catchy hooks and haunting melodies. Singers like Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley that Bruno seems to be channeling don’t quite fit in with his radio-friendly love songs. True music lovers desire authenticity and perhaps that’s what’s missing in Bruno Mars’ music.

There’s something about the breath of fresh air Bruno Mars represents, but the sistas aren’t all too willing to breathe it in.

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