December 18th, 2012 12:38pm

My Golden Star

Bruno Mars “Treasure”

On a lyrical level, this song isn’t much different from One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” in that it’s basically a smooth dude telling a girl how wonderful she is, and how she’s not actually aware of her own beauty. Musically, it’s in a whole other zone, skillfully evoking the perky, confident bounce of disco-era Michael Jackson. Like pretty much everything on Bruno Mars’ new album Unorthodox Jukebox, it is shamelessly retro, but in a very welcome way. Mars and his collaborators are resurrecting the sound of early to mid-80s pop, where R&B and New Wave influences mingled and blurred into charming tunes that managed to pack in elements of just about every strain of pop while seeming glossy, light and effortless. It’s a really clever sound to emulate, not just because it’s so enduring, but because it’s so big tent. It’s definitely one of the best ways to get a lot of people on board in a time of major fragmentation in the music market. I don’t get the sense that Mars is thinking about some abstract market share, though – he just wants to make a lot of people feel good.

Buy it from Amazon.

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