13 Songs

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.

TITLE TIME
4:08
4:12
3:05
3:10
3:57
3:23
3:40
4:25
4:22
3:57
3:48
3:36

About Mario

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, R&B vocalist Mario developed his natural talent while singing along with his mom using a karaoke machine at home. Discovered at the age of 11 in a local talent show, he later traveled to New York City to establish a career and scored a contract with Clive Davis' J label. Following his contribution to the Dr. Doolittle 2 soundtrack and a captivating performance of Stevie Wonder's "You and I" at Davis' Grammy party in February 2002, the newcomer was primed for stardom. At the age of 15, Mario debuted with the release of "Just a Friend 2002," produced by Warryn Campbell and based on rapper Biz Markie's hit "Just a Friend." His self-titled album followed in July, featuring contributions by Grammy-winning Alicia Keys. Turning Point, released in 2004, went to number two on the R&B album chart, hoisted by the ubiquitous smash "Let Me Love You," a single that also helped launch the career of Ne-Yo, the song's writer. The December 2007 release of Mario's third album, Go, was preceded by several delays and projected release dates; its initial date was November of the previous year. The album featured productions from Polow da Don, Timbaland, Stargate, the Neptunes, the Underdogs, and Akon. Go's last song, "Do Right," dealt with his relationship with his mother, a heroin addict. Just prior to its release, MTV aired I Won't Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom, a program documenting the pair's struggle. Go peaked at number four on the R&B chart, just prior to Mario's appearance on the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. D.N.A., Mario's fourth album, was released in October 2009, with two of its songs, "Break Up" and "Thinkin' About You," already on the singles charts. ~ Drago Bonacich & Andy Kellman, Rovi

  • ORIGIN
    Baltimore, MD
  • BORN
    Aug 27, 1986

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