The beauty of co-writes is that you get to experience a song from the eyes of somebody completely different than the artist. As a result, it lets the musician explore new boundaries and potentially take their songs to a level that it’s never been before. Still, despite how good a co-written song may be, there’s still that desire from the listener to hear what the song would sound like if the co-writer happened to be the main artist instead.
Bruno Mars is the king of co-writes, and he lent his hand to a number of tracks well before he hit it big on his own. Last year, he assisted Adele on her epic 25 track, “All I Ask,” and while it was great in its own right, it begged the question of how different it’d be if he took her place on vocal duties. Now, it’s a reality.
Mars covered the Adele song for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, and if you needed any further proof that he really did write the song, now you’ve got it. His rendition of the emotional ballad sounds as natural as ever, delivering on her huge vocals with great backup singers to accompany him. Instrumentation wise, the song, while trying to stay as close to the original as possible, strays away from only featuring a piano. Instead, it’s robust with drums, guitar, and keys, but in a way that still respects Adele’s version.
You have to wonder if sometimes an artist will co-write for another when they know they couldn’t possibly pull off an idea by themselves, but in the case of Mars and “All I Ask,” he shows that it really could have been his song all along. It’s not worth dwelling over, however, because Bruno Mars has his own collection of brand new songs in 24k Magic that he’ll be putting out into the wild on November 18th.