When: Sat., Nov. 27, 7 p.m. 2010
The best pop songs sound inevitable, as if they'd been floating around waiting for the right person to pluck them out of the air. Bruno Mars and his partners in the songwriting concern the Smeezingtons have an almost disconcerting talent for doing this, and this year it's seemed as though their efforts—including Mars's "Just the Way You Are," Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You!," and Travie McCoy's "Billionaire"—have owned every bit of the pop-music market share that Dr. Luke couldn't claim. The songs on Mars's generally excellent debut, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Atlantic), take after "Fuck You!"—with the notable exception of "Just the Way You Are," a baldly manipulative piece of power schmaltz destined to live on as a favorite of bachelorette party sing-alongs. "Runaway Baby" is a hyperactive piece of R&B-tinged sugar punk, "Grenade" is a pop-soul take on Kanye's 808s & Heartbreak phase, and "Marry You" takes a melody that belongs in a girl-group classic and blows it up to an epic scale the Arcade Fire would have a hard time matching. Sold out. —Miles Raymer
Price: Sold out.