13 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mario broadens his horizons with his fourth album, a dramatic effort that reaches well beyond the parameters of R&B. D.N.A. still delivers R&B in the mold of Mario’s previous work — the sweet “Thinkin’ About You” and the lustful “Ooh Baby” are two of the album’s best songs — but the bulk of the material has more in common with Beyonce and Rihanna, female powerhouses who made their biggest hits by merging R&B, club, rock, and pop music. “Soundtrack to My Broken Heart” echoes the emotional vocal and determined guitar riff of Beyonce’s “If I Was A Boy,” while “Don’t Walk Away” is a confessional breakup song akin to Rihanna’s “Rehab.” That Mario is able to inhabit the same emotional space as those female superstars says a lot about his talents as a vocalist. The singer is starting to make music with cross-genre appeal, but he also knows how to put a fresh spin on old ideas. Two of the album’s most memorable tracks —“Starlight” and “Before She Said Hi”— are classic disco rhythms made new by heavy drums and catchy hooks.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mario broadens his horizons with his fourth album, a dramatic effort that reaches well beyond the parameters of R&B. D.N.A. still delivers R&B in the mold of Mario’s previous work — the sweet “Thinkin’ About You” and the lustful “Ooh Baby” are two of the album’s best songs — but the bulk of the material has more in common with Beyonce and Rihanna, female powerhouses who made their biggest hits by merging R&B, club, rock, and pop music. “Soundtrack to My Broken Heart” echoes the emotional vocal and determined guitar riff of Beyonce’s “If I Was A Boy,” while “Don’t Walk Away” is a confessional breakup song akin to Rihanna’s “Rehab.” That Mario is able to inhabit the same emotional space as those female superstars says a lot about his talents as a vocalist. The singer is starting to make music with cross-genre appeal, but he also knows how to put a fresh spin on old ideas. Two of the album’s most memorable tracks —“Starlight” and “Before She Said Hi”— are classic disco rhythms made new by heavy drums and catchy hooks.

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