Surprise, Surprise: the Top Selling Song in America is Actually Kind of Great

So I checked the Billboard chart on a whim today, expecting to have some nice cringe in when I played the top selling single in America. I was pleasantly surprised to when I heard the song itself.

Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” is surprisingly great for the following reasons and probably more.

  • The verse sounds a little bit like “I Don’t Want to Lose Your Love Tonight” by The Outfield. But not enough to be a rip off.
  • As the video demonstrates, it would be possible to actually replicate this song with a five or six piece band (one dude would be pressing a button on a sampler).
  • It starts pleasantly but modestly, and escalates in intensity before peaking at the chorus.
  • It goes right to the shores of dubstep but never actually dives in.
  • Dope clean fender strat guitar sound throughout.
  • Nice tempo change in the last chorus.
  • It’s an original lyric idea that’s both odd and sad. The girl makes him feel like he’s been locked out of heaven for too long; I don’t even know exactly what that means but a pretentious part of me wants to invoke Paradise Lost’s Lucifer.

Anyway, the number two song is some garbage by Taylor Swift that was as bad as I hoped the number one song would be, so everybody wins.

Published by Mister Bulger

Adam Bulger is the editor in chief of and a frequent contributor to the parenting website He's also recently written for the wedding site and the college student aide Less recently, he's written for The Believer, Forbes, The Atlantic's website, Suicidegirls, Inked Magazine and probably about a dozen other places that are too obscure or defunct to bother listing.

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