This is what happens when the industry follows the trend instead of staying in their lane and building there own path. It’s painfully obvious that the “D.N.A.” album by Mario is majorly influenced by the radio hits of the past couple years. There are “Umbrella” type Rihanna records (He even enlists her on “Emergency Room”). And T.I. “Live Your Life”/Jay-Z “Run This Town” records (“Thinking About You”/”Ooh Baby”).
Now if your looking for staple Mario songs like “Let Me Love You”/”How Can I Breathe”, they are not on this album. The closest you’ll find is “The Hardest Moment” (which is last on the album.. go figure). What Mario is going for with this album is to be the “male” version of Rihanna. Now there are some contenders that put him in that lane but it feels forced rather than natural. The songs that potentially put him in that lane are “Starlight”/“Stuttering”/”Before She Said Hi” (which I’m hearing on the radio now).
Now (without considering the crappy 1st single with Sean Garret/Gucci Mane) is Mario taking a step in the growth direction? Yes. Is he taking a chances with this album? Yes. Is he missing anything on this album? Yes (the staple mid-ballads like “Let Me Love You). So overall I’ll give it 3 GoJu shields. I don’t hate the direction and if your a Mario fan, you should support man. He’s making an attempt to be a long term artist. If you have the disposable income, cop it. If you don’t download/bootleg it.
Male R&B seems to be hitting the radio waves heavy but no resonating with consumer well enough to cause they to make it rain on the releases. With the conditions being what they are Mario comes knocking with his new release “D.N.A.” (scheduled for Oct. 6th). Currently, his competition, Trey Songz, is at about 220K+ overall sales in his 4th week. Pretty sad when you consider he has been promoted heavy with the pre-releases of singles like “I Need a Girl” and “Successful” … which was more of a Drake single. Mario comes offering a interesting album that I thought would be as badly constructed as the Trey Songz album, being that he did not have Taj Jackson pennin’ a hit for him this time around. Instead Mario enlisted the aid of Sean “The Pen” Garrett. His lead single, “Break Up” has been pulsing the airwaves for weeks but surprising it is not the tone of the album.
D.N.A. is a good and I stress just good representation of an artist moving in a new territory without forgetting his true sound. This project has many pop/euro sounding songs… almost 80ish, with a 2010 spin. Let’s face it Mario does not have amazing vocals, but he does stay in pocket. Songs like “Soundtrack of a Broken Heart” and “Before She Said Hi” are actually great groove songs. Toss in a few urban/pop songs like internet leaked “Emergency Room” feat. Riahanna (THIS IS A SINGLE! OR SHOULD BE) and “Get Out”, the album goes full circle. Mario should go plat if the single releases are in the right order.
Let see the first week numbers. How will the J Records machine push?
3 1/2 out of 5 GOJU shields.
Qban Picks: “Before She Said Hi” & “Ooh Baby” (Single selection)
“The Hardest Moment”
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