21 of Bruno Mars’ Best Songs

Bruno Mars, born Peter Gene Hernandez, is an incredibly talented, seven-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, dancer, producer, musician, and all-around entertainer.

He is well-versed in various genres, from funk to soul to r&b, rock, pop, disco, and more. This Hawaiian-born artist is known for groovy instrumentals, riveting vocals, and dynamic dance moves.

Because Mars is so talented, he is a laundry list of fantastic music, but here are the 21 of Bruno Mars’ best songs overall.

“Grenade”

Many of Bruno Mars’ songs are about love, and this one demonstrates how complicated and frustrating it can be, especially if you’re passionately in love with someone.

The lyrics describe how the speaker would die for his lover, but there is no reciprocation. Essentially, he is being taken for granted.

However, he’s too deep in love to just leave. This is, unfortunately, a relatable song for people who’ve experienced a heart-wrenching, one-sided love.


“Just The Way You Are”

If you’re looking for a sweet, romantic, and melodic song to send to your lover, “Just The Way You Are” is the perfect hit.

Although it’s a bit older than other songs, we had to include it on a Bruno Mars top 10 songs list because it’s so sweet, and Bruno Mars’ voice is angelic in this love song.

This classic hit is about appreciating your partner for who they are, even when they’re not perfect. Bruno Mars serenades his love interest and makes her feel confident and beautiful.


“The Lazy Song”

Along with “Just The Way You Are,” “The Lazy Song” is one of Bruno Mars’ earliest big hits that helped him skyrocket to international fame. It’s a carefree, fun song about not wanting to do anything except lounge around all day and be lazy.

It has a reggae sound that helps the listener associate with the idea of living casually and breathily on an island with no stress, no worries, and a loose sense of time.

“The Lazy Song” is one of Bruno Mars’ top 5 songs for a chill, daytime hangout — or anytime you just want to lay down, ignore your phone, and have a much-needed break!


“Finesse” Featuring Cardi B

This Bruno Mars song is a nod to ‘90s hip hop and r&b with an incredible throwback sound. It features Cardi B, who adds an extra level of sass and fierceness to the track.

“Finesse” lyrics, on the surface, are about wanting to look good and feel even better. But if you listen closely, you realize it’s also about love, partnership, and wanting to hype up whoever you’re with.

It’s another fun party song from Bruno Mars that’ll make you smile and inspire you to get up and groove.


“When I Was Your Man”

Bruno Mars is known for writing sweet love songs, but Bruno Mars – “When I Was Your Man” is a melancholy song about heartbreak and the one that got away because of his mistakes.

In the lyrics, he shares that now that he’s matured, Mars realizes that he could be a much better partner, but he let his ego and pride get in the way.

He could’ve done things differently — both big and small — like gifting flowers and being more physically close, but he failed to deliver, and now his past lover is with another man.

This song is relatable because everyone has, at some point, regrets about a previous relationship. Ultimately, Bruno Mars — “When I Was Your Man” is a regretful ballad that will touch your heart and soul.


“24K Magic”

“24K Magic” is one of the best Bruno Mars songs to dance to at a party, backyard bbq, wedding, or any lively event. It’s about flaunting your wealth, style, and charisma.

The beat is Bruno Mars’ classic throwback sound with a modern twist that will make you want to groove. The lyrics are also some of his coolest, especially for a party song.

It’s also an excellent song to play when you want to feel confident and smooth — like Bruno Mars!


“That’s What I Like”

Similar to “24K Magic” and “Finesse,” “That’s What I Like” is a funky, retro hit that makes you feel good every listen.

It’s also a song that combines themes of money and love, topics Mars often combines in his lyrics.

Mars is a romantic at heart, and his lyrics describing how much he’d spend on his lover to make her happy are both creative and sweet. But he also doesn’t shy away from mentioning private jets, high-end hotels, jewelry, silk sheets, and other luxurious items.

As in his other songs, Mars’ vocals are outstanding, especially during the last third of the tune.


“Treasure”

Many of Bruno Mars’ best songs sound like they’re from the ‘80s or ‘90s, but “Treasure” feels straight from the ‘70s disco era.

The funky bassline, Mars’ falsetto vocals, and the overall high energy of the beat make it a great song to listen to when you need a pick-me-up.

It’s also one of Bruno Mars’ sexiest songs, with lyrics about his love interest being a treasure and how he wants to “treasure her.”


“Locked Out Of Heaven”

Bruno Mars comes out the gate with serious vocals from the start of “Locked Out Of Heaven,” even before he starts singing actual lyrics.

Any listener can tell that he’ll mean serious business from the beginning of this song, and he proves it during the impressive chorus.

This hit is another sexy and romantic song by Mars. He compares his love interest (and their intimate time together) to heaven and makes various references and metaphors related to heaven.


“It Will Rain”

Knowing how upsetting it will be if you and your partner split is a reality that sits in the background of people who are in deep love.

It’s exciting to be in love, but this song demonstrates that even the thought of losing that person can be a bit terrifying. He knows that regardless of the actual weather, he will be so sad that it’ll feel like it’s raining every day if his lover ever leaves him.

It also speaks to his own faults. He knows he has made mistakes, but he will try harder to be the best person for her so that she won’t leave him.


“Somewhere In Brooklyn”

It’s love at first sight for Mars in Brooklyn, but now he’s got a problem – he didn’t catch the girl’s name before she stepped on a train and he lost her. He’s left with a few details about her and the memory of the great conversation they had together.

He goes back to that neighbourhood all the time to see if anyone knows her but by the end of the song he’s still looking for that girl who was “covered in leather in gold”. He wonders if there’s a chance they’ll ever meet again.


“Liquor Store Blues” ft Damian Marley

The protagonist of this reggae-tinged track finds his only comfort in drink. “I’ll take one shot for my pain, one drag for my sorrows,” he sings. Although he often gets messed up when he drinks, he still believes that he’ll feel better for tomorrow. The sad reality is that he won’t actually be able to make any progress in his life until he stops visiting the liquor shop.

The track features Damian Marley, the youngest son of Bob Marley and a successful reggae star in his own right.


“Runaway Baby”

This high-energy track from Doo-Whops And Hooligans sees Mars warning any potential lovers about his toxic behaviour in relationships. If they fall in love with him they’re going to end up hurt and alone, because he’s a notorious rolling stone.

Mars’ vocal performance in the song is a lot of fun, playing up the almost pantomime villain role he casts himself in. The same year it was released in 2011, the track was used as the opening song in the film Friends With Benefits.


“The Other Side” ft B.o.B and CeeLo Green

Mars teams up with two other prominent forces in music in the early 2010s for this theatrical number from his debut EP. “Truth of the matter is I’m complicated; you’re as straight as they come,” he sings.

He and the person he’s seeing are from different worlds, and he understands that it might be difficult for them to adjust to his way of living. But if they’re ready to cross the line, he’ll be waiting for them on the other side of it. The track also appeared on Mars’ debut album.

The song makes use of the phrase “It’s better if you don’t understand”, which was also the title of the EP. Mars felt drawn to the phrase because of the difficulty those around him had putting him in a box musically. He wanted to encourage people just to listen to his music, rather than trying to pre-emptively understand who he was and what he did.


“Versace On The Floor”

This slow jam comes from Mars’ 2016 album, 24K Magic. Mars compliments his lover’s dress but tells her that he predicts her Versace gown will end up on the floor of his bedroom before the night is over. He tells her that he wants to take it slow, and showers her with compliments as he tells her what he has in mind for the evening.

Mars has a history with Versace, having been a fan of the Italian fashion house for years. He even wore the brand during his Super Bowl halftime show in 2016.


“Marry You”

“Marry You” is full of adrenalin, as a slightly intoxicated Mars and his lover look for something “dumb to do”. Mars decides that he’s landed on the perfect activity: they should go to a little chapel and get married. He reckons they should embrace the trashiness of the wedding, do some shots of patron, and just have fun.

Mars wanted to capture the feeling of being young and drunk and in love with everything. The phrase ‘dancing juice’, which appears in the song, came from a conversation with a friend in London. Hearing the phrase, Mars felt it fit perfectly with the youthful, playful energy of the track.


“Gorilla”

Mars didn’t hold back when describing what this song was about – he told Rolling Stone that the track was an ode to “good old animalistic sex”. Singing over a sultry rock instrumental, Mars describes exactly how he wants the night to go, confessing that the two of them are full of alcohol and cocaine and acknowledging that the combination might make the night they’re about to spend together even more intense.

“Gorilla” appears on the album Unorthodox Jukebox – and an actual gorilla appears on the album’s cover. Mars explained that this was the first track he wrote for the album, and that the gorilla became something of a mascot for the record.


“Natalie”

Mars gets involved with the wrong woman in this urgent track. Natalie has taken him for everything he has – literally, as she’s run away with all his money. “She’s probably out there thinking it’s funny,” Mars laments. He warns the rest of the world to keep an eye out for the thieving Natalie, and hopes that karma will eventually get her.


“Talking To The Moon”

After a bad heartbreak, Mars just can’t seem to move on. He finds himself sitting every night alone in his room and speaking to the moon as if his ex-lover can hear him. He hopes that maybe she’s on the other side speaking back to him – but he suspects that, as his neighbours clearly think, he might just be going mad.


“Perm”

“It’s my birthday!” exclaims Mars. He quickly corrects himself: “No it’s not.” But he’s feeling great regardless, walking into the party and preparing to be the life and soul. The girl he’s with doesn’t seem to be as interested in having a good time as she does in arguing with him, however. Mars encourages her to let loose and relax.


“Too Good To Say Goodbye”

This gentle R&B track sees Mars owning up to the mistakes he’s made in a relationship. Still, he doesn’t know why he and the girl he loves can’t try again. “You’re more than my girl, you’re my best friend.” He knows that no one will ever love him like she did, and she won’t be able to find someone who adores her as much as he does. He’ll do anything to get her back.

Final Thoughts

There is a laundry list of incredible Bruno Mars songs, so selecting Bruno Mars’ best songs for this list was challenging.

And if you’re wondering why one of his most popular hits, “Uptown Funk,” was left out, it’s because the song is actually by Mark Ronson, and Bruno Mars is the singing feature.

Writer

Caitlin Devlin is a music, entertainment and lifestyle writer based in London. When she’s not creating playlists for Repeat Replay, she’s reviewing gigs and interviewing artists for Ticketmaster UK and thinking about what her Spotify Wrapped will look like this year.

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