If you haven’t been living under a rock, than you’ve certainly tapped your feet, bobbed your head, or belted out a tune to a Bruno Mars track. The half-Filipino, half-Puerto Rican dynamo has firmly ingrained himself in the pop milieu since storming the scene with his debut album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” in 2010. A multi-faceted artist, Mars fuses elements of R&B, funk, soul, reggae, hip hop, and rock into his music, creating a distinct sound that permeates the pop landscape.
From magnetic ballads like “When I Was Your Man” to the infectiously funky “24K Magic,” each Bruno Mars’ track is an individualized auditory experience. With a voice that transitions between buttery smooth and grittily soulful, and a knack for penning heartfelt, relatable lyrics, Mars creates tracks that resonate both with audiences and the larger pop culture ethos.
His collaborations, like the disco-infused “After Last Night” with Thundercat & Bootsy Collins and the vivacious “Finesse – Remix,” featuring Cardi B, articulate his aptitude to gel with different musical styles and personalities. Yet, amid the wide-ranging sounds and styles, Mars’ musical signature remains visible.
Whether you’re an ardent Bruno Mars fan or a curious newcomer, this ranking — spanning his diverse discography — provides insightful entertainment. So let’s get into it. From the unrestrained rhythm of “After Last Night” to the emotive power of “Locked Out of Heaven”, here are the Top 25 Bruno Mars Songs Ranked from Worst to Best.
25. After Last Night
Collaborating with Thundercat and Bootsy Collins, Mars flawlessly blends R&B with old-school funk to deliver a dish best served hot. Despite these shining moments, it doesn’t quite hold its own against his more iconic hits. The track is drenched in overt sensuality but lacks the deft, nuanced touch Mars is capable of. In the grand scheme of his discography, “After Last Night” is a lesser star within a constellation of true bangers. But hey, even the journeyman tracks of Mars’ stellar career shine brighter than most artists’ top tracks.
24. Smokin Out the Window
Coming in 24th place, we’ve got “Smokin Out the Window,” an absolute funk powerhouse, boasting Mars’ classic 70s-esque groove. This tune is a standout from Mars’ collaborative album with Anderson .Paak, “An Evening with Silk Sonic”. Shimmering with interstellar escapades of rhythm and harmonies, this track becomes a pulpit where Mars preaches about a love that’s got him feeling, well, smoked out. The amalgamation of slick production, killer melody, and cheeky narrative make it a fantastic addition to Mars’ repertoire, but hey, we’re ranking relative gems here. While the track sizzles, it lacks the powerful emotional punch present in much of Mars’ chart-topping work, landing it a lower spot on our ranking. Nonetheless, it’s another testament to Mars’ chameleon-esque ability to tackle various musical styles with finesse and conviction.
23. Locked Out of Heaven
This banger, which dropped in 2012 as the lead single from ‘Unorthodox Jukebox,’ has a fiery rhythm that effuses a sense of desperation in love. Mars’ vocal acrobatics echo the tension in being so enamored yet feeling barred from paradise. It’s a reflection of how he’s evolved from Doo-Wops and Hooligans to a more mature, bolder artist – his melodious hooks never faltering throughout this transformation. Despite its high ranking, it lacks the personal depth found in some of his other offerings. Mars is knocking, but he hasn’t opened the door quite yet.
22. Grenade – Acoustic
Now this stripped-down version of the original powerhouse hit “Grenade” lets us appreciate the raw emotion outpoured by Mars. Without the pomp and pop production, it sheds light on the pure songwriting chops Bruno possesses – a painfully relatable tale of unrequited love dipped in his endless swagger. But let’s face it, while it’s a solid piece of work, it doesn’t pack the same punch as the original. Gratingly smooth at times, this acoustic rendition lacks the explosive crescendo that made us all fall head over heels for the grenade-catcher. It’s a different flavor of the track, but one that still gives you a taste of Mars’s artistry.
21. That’s What I Like
Mars delivers a high-energy performance that showcases his undeniable charisma and dexterity as a vocalist. But let’s not dismiss the production work here; the killer combo of Mars, Christopher Brody Brown, and Philip Lawrence (the Smeezingtons in full effect, folks), with their old-school meets new-school vibe, gives this song its shiny sheen. While it’s a joyous celebration of the luxurious life, it could have benefited from a dash more substance beneath the surface glitter. But heck, when it feels this good, who’s complaining?
20. Leave the Door Open
With the precision of an old-school hitmaker, Mars delivers a vocal performance that could make even the coldest hearts swoon. And let’s not forget .Paak, who brings his own flavor of charisma and attitude to this instant classic. The track’s smooth, velvety production lures you into its universe, reminiscent of the golden era of ’70s soul and funk. Yet, it’s undeniably modern, proving that Mars is not just a scholar of pop history—he’s determined to write some chapters of his own. Love it or not, there’s no denying that “Leave the Door Open” left a strong imprint on the pop music landscape of 2021.
19. Talking to the Moon – Acoustic Piano
Void of any flashy production, it lets Bruno’s emotive vocals and poignant lyrics to take the driving seat. It’s a touching, heart-on-sleeve ballad in which Mars spills his soul about loneliness and unrequited love. Yes, it’s a far cry from his upbeat bangers, but that’s its charm. It showcases Mars’ versatility as he swerves into the lanes of melancholia and vulnerability. Amidst the sequined fedoras and uptown funkiness, this stark, bare-boned piano ballad stands out. And if you ask me, It’s when Bruno hits those high notes, and you can feel the weight of his longing, that’s pure magic in itself.
18. It Will Rain
Clock the lyrics, and you’ll find a love so intense, it transmutes into tempestuous weather patterns. Mars’ vocals are dripping with anguish as he navigates the stormy seas of romance. There’s a stripped rawness to it that leans into the gloomy emotional palette of the Twilight franchise. Sure, it might not be the most innovative track in Bruno’s arsenal, but it’s a solid reminder of his R&B roots and dramatic virtuosity.
17. Runaway Baby
Bursting with the infectious energy of a live performance, it’s imbued with a rollicking bass line and Mars’ bouncy vocal delivery. This track showcases early signs of Mars’ genre-hopping prowess, offering a taste of retro pop blended with elements of rock and funk. However, despite the track’s irresistible charm, it falls short in conveying the kind of emotional depth and sonic innovation that Mars later became celebrated for. In this respect, “Runaway Baby” serves as an entertaining, albeit relatively lightweight, entry in Bruno Mars’ music catalog.
16. The Lazy Song
Nestled within Bruno Mars’ debut album “Doo-Wops & Hooligans”, this delectable sonic pie is arguably one of Mars’ most memorable tracks. But it’s not Mars’ vocal prowess that hooks you – that’s a given, a constant across his work. Nah, what sinks you right into your couch with a satisfied sigh is the track’s blissful celebration of do-nothingness. It’s a paradox, really – a high-energy ode to lethargy. It doesn’t reach the heights of his other ballads, but hey, it ain’t tryin’ to! But even the ‘worst’ Bruno Mars song has a quality that most pop songs can only dream of.
15. After Last Night (with Thundercat & Bootsy Collins)
It’s not that this track isn’t a certified bop, mind you; it’s just a testament to Bruno’s wide range of extraordinary hits. This jam is the epitome of smooth, effortlessly merging Bruno’s retro-soul vibes with Thundercat’s bass mastery and Bootsy’s trademark funky charm. However, it doesn’t quite resonate like Bruno’s chart-topping smashes. It feels more like a luscious interlude on an album, rather than a standalone single. Entertaining? Absolutely. Iconic? Not quite. Compared to Bruno’s other memorable offerings, this one ranks relatively low.
14. Count on Me
From his debut album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans”, this track is a prime indicator of Mars’ knack for catchy melodies and sincere lyrics. It’s an acoustic bop that’s all about friendship and trust – a theme that’s timeless and universal. Despite its lack of chart-topping success, it resonates with a broad audience because who doesn’t love a song about unconditional friendship? However, it lacks the depth and innovation that other songs in Mars’ catalogue offer, which places it neatly in the middle of our ranking.
13. Marry You
It’s a euphoric dive into the wide-eyed innocence of love and impulsive decisions, framing romance as a spontaneous adventure. Sure, the lyrics can be critiqued as overly simplistic. But the truth is, “Marry You” wasn’t created for deep introspection. Rather, it’s an embodiment of Mars’ knack for crafting radio-ready hits that ooze charm and positivity. Its lighthearted groove, feel-good rhythm, and Mars’ earnest delivery result in a song that’s sweet without being sickening, making it a perfect fit for engagement party playlists worldwide. Don’t question it too much, just hop in the car and take it for a spin.
12. Smokin Out The Window
But let’s face it, it’s not his magnum opus. Landing on the 23rd spot of our countdown, this track is a testament to Mars’ vocal prowess and uncanny ability to bring the essence of old-school Motown charm into modern pop. However, the song struggles a bit in terms of lyrical depth. Despite its infectious swing and polished production, it feels a tad repetitive. Nonetheless, Mars’ expressive delivery saves the day, reminding us that even his lesser hits are worth a listen.
11. Finesse – Remix; feat. Cardi B
Released in 2018, this banger is all about the 90’s style, from its swaggering New Jack Swing beat down to its neon-tinged In Living Color inspired music video. Bruno Mars’ smooth croon melts into the glossy production like butter on hot pavement, but it’s Cardi B’s fiery verse that carbonates the tune, providing a sassy, streetwise edge. We’ve got to tip our snapbacks to Bruno and Cardi – their infectious energy and undeniable groove brought the 90’s back in full glory. But, stacked against Mars’s wider discography, “Finesse – Remix” doesn’t quite reach the starry heights of his most iconic anthems.
Released in 2010 as the second single from his debut studio album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” this track is a raw exposition of unrequited love and self-sacrifice, employing vivid and somewhat brutal metaphors. Mars holds nothing back, pouring his soul into every note, embodying the pain of loving someone who doesn’t reciprocate. The sincerity of his performance, combined with the resonating lyrical content, has made “Grenade” one of his most memorable offerings. However, the song’s dramatic narrative often teeters on the edge of melodrama, turning what could have been a poignant exploration of heartbreak into a pop spectacle instead. And that’s both its greatest strength and weakness.
9. Versace on the Floor
This track, a tasteful ode to 90s R&B, is a silken masterpiece lifted from his ’24K Magic’ album. You’ve got Mars crooning about romantic anticipation, with sensual innuendo wrapped in a luxe, velvety production. It’s a slow jam that takes you back to the heyday of Boyz II Men and Babyface, but Bruno, ever the chameleon, makes it unmistakably his own. There’s criticism to be made, though – it arguably plays too much on nostalgia, at times bordering on pastiche. But Mars’ vocal talent and the song’s slick production win out, cementing it as one of his standout tunes. A solid bop.
8. 24K Magic
This slick, funk-laden anthem pairs infectious rhythms with Mars’s silky smooth vocals to magical effect. Drawing inspiration from the retro grooves of the late 70s and early 80s, “24K Magic” is bedazzled with vintage synthesizers and a rhythm section that harkens back to the heydays of Chic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band. The lyrical content, a playful celebration of opulence and the high life, is pure Bruno – confident, cocky, yet endearingly relatable. Perhaps slightly over-produced for some tastes, “24K Magic” nevertheless is an undeniable showcase of Mars’s knack for creating showstopper hits. It hits you with a wall of sound and doesn’t let up until the final note fades. In short, it’s a glam-funk joyride.
7. Talking to the Moon
The track, tucked away in his debut studio album “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” receives an tragically underplayed status, yet it’s a veritable gem. It’s beautifully melancholic, with Mars’ piercing vocals etching a silhouette of loneliness and longing against the backdrop of a haunting piano melody. However, the charm of this song lies precisely in its underdog story—it’s this overlooked quality that makes it a testament of Mars’ often underestimated versatility as an artist. It’s not his highest-charting summer release, but it’s got an autumnal sadness, a starry-night solitude, that makes it a mesmerising listen.
6. Leave The Door Open
This song, harking from the Silk Sonic project with Anderson .Paak, is Mars at his smoothest, his vocals contrasting perfectly with .Paak’s rough-around-the-edges charm. The retro soul flavor of the track is absolutely delectable, reminding us once again of Bruno’s knack for reviving and reimagining vintage styles. But don’t get it twisted, the song is more than a nostalgic nod. It’s a testament to his musical prowess, of being able to pull off an effortless blend of romance and high-powered energy. Line by line, note by note, “Leave the Door Open” flirts with perfection. It’s Bruno Mars doing what he does best – defining and redefining pop’s sonic landscape.
Landing the 3-spot on our list, the track harkens back to the golden age of Motown, marrying Mars’ honeyed falsetto with an infectious disco groove that could make even the stiffest wallflower shake a leg. It’s a testament to Mars’ ability to spin yesterday’s gold into today’s platinum, and a shining example of his exhaustive pop playbook. “Treasure” is more than a tribute to the pop gems of the past—it’s Bruno Mars in his element, effortlessly oozing charm and charisma through every note. Let’s just say, if you don’t dig “Treasure,” you might need a check-up from the neck up! This cut is pure gold!
4. Just the Way You Are
Bruno Mars wasn’t messing around with his debut single, he swung for the fences, and oh boy, did he hit a homer! It’s unabashedly romantic, with Mars putting his vocal chops on full display. As we traverse his discography, this track underlines the genesis of his reign in pop music. Listen, ‘Just the Way You Are’ isn’t reinventing the wheel or anything, but its charm lies in its simplicity and sincerity. Its success was merely a sneak peek into what Mars had under his sleeve. Admit it, it’s a guilty pleasure, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!”
3. That’s What I Like
This is Bruno in his element, belting out hedonistic exuberance with a slick, polished sound that redefined pop. It’s a platinum spectacle, pulsating with a sultry beat and rhythmic dynamism that screams pure indulgence. But beneath the glitz, there’s also a sophisticated craftsman. Mars’ elastic vocal capacities are on full display, seamlessly shifting from rapid-fire rap-lite choruses to soulful crooning. And let’s not forget the frankly iconic, James Brown-esque choreography in the music video, a testimony to Bruno’s unwavering commitment to performance. Yet, as brilliant as it is, several other tracks outshine “That’s What I Like” in his discography.
2. When I Was Your Man
With a heartrending balladry that transcends his usual pop concoctions, Mars gives us a candid reflection on lost love. The raw, unadulterated remorse displayed here is a far cry from his usual flamboyance. Employing a simple piano accompaniment, Mars’ vocal gymnastics shine, weaving tales of regret with a heartbreaking elegance. Although it lacks the infectious hooks that Mars’ is known for, ‘When I Was Your Man’ compensates with emotional intensity, underlining why Mars remains a compelling force in modern pop. This is the bleedin’ heart of Mars, the island of melancholia in his usually upbeat pop-scape, and it is all the more brilliant for it.”
1. Locked out of Heaven
If pop music was religion, this song is the equivalent of a soulful sermon, preaching about love and yearning with a passion only Mars can muster. The track proves his skill to conjure up an 80s pop vibe while remaining current; a true nod to the Police and a stroke of genius in today’s music landscape. But it’s not just about nostalgia; Bruno Mars makes the sound his own, proving that he’s not just another artist, but a trendsetter in his own right. Bruno Mars? More like Bruno “Star”, am I right?