This week, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga have released new singles. Both of them are decent efforts from both stars, but only Bruno Mars “24K Magic” is set to be a hit. Lady Gaga released her ballad “Million Reasons” on Thursday, but it is dropping on iTunes at an extremely fast rate. As of Saturday afternoon, it is No. 11 and shaded in dark pink, which means it will probably be out of the top 20 by the end of the night. Bruno Mars is still at No. 2 after one day and will probably debut very high on Billboard‘s Hot 100 in a week.
Still, Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” isn’t a flop, quality wise. It’s a country-inspired ballad that — once again — will remind people of Madonna’s slowed down country songs like “Gone” or “I Deserve It.” But Gaga proves she doesn’t need yet another Madonna inspiration to forge ahead as she sings about a lover giving her a million reasons to leave, even though she needs (and obviously wants) just one reason for him to stay.
“Million Reasons” is certainly much better than the all-over-the-place “Perfect Illusion,” which has become one of the biggest flops in pop music history when it comes to a brand new superstar release. Despite being one of the most promoted songs of all-time by publications such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly. The song even received a couple days of pay-for-play by iHeart radio stations (Gaga haters need to realize that Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and others have done the same thing with new songs).
Technically, Lady Gaga proves that she is in her own league when it comes to singing. However, the problem is that, aesthetically, her voice has a hard time connecting with the listener. Like other recent Lady Gaga songs, “Million Reasons” has a try-too-hard vibe. It doesn’t completely destroy the song, but it turns it from a four-star song to a three-and-a-half star one.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Joanne, Lady Gaga’s album that is scheduled to be released on October 21, gets delayed so she can come up with more mainstream hits. Some would argue that at this stage, Lady Gaga doesn’t need any more hits. But Lady Gaga is an overachiever and not having a hit could put a large bruise on her ego. In the past, Gaga’s super confidence helped her become one of the most important pop music superstars of the past decade.
Bruno Mars doesn’t have to worry about connecting with his audience with “24K Magic.” The connection is made when Mars first opens up his mouth. If you combine everything that was great about 2Pac, early Michael Jackson, and even recent Justin Timberlake, you get “24K Magic.” The bouncy beat, lighthearted lyrics, and Bruno’s voice (even when it is in “auto-tune” mode) make what would have been a summertime hit into a fall smash.
Some may accuse (and have — see the Idolator review) Mars of trying to ride the “Uptown Funk” success as much as he can, but why not? It’s not as if “Uptown Funk” was a flop — commercially or critically. Mars knows what he is doing and one could only hope that the rest of his album contains songs as funky, creative, and fun as “24K Magic.”
Early predictions have Bruno Mars scoring another No. 1 song. Then again, when Lady Gaga released “Perfect Illusion,” many said the same thing. The music world is very unpredictable right now.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]