Young Girls

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"Young Girls"
Single by Bruno Mars
from the album Unorthodox Jukebox
Released December 10, 2013[1]
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012
Genre Pop
Length 3:50
Label Atlantic
Bruno Mars singles chronology
"Young Girls"
"Uptown Funk"

"Young Girls" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, from his second studio album Unorthodox Jukebox (2012). The song was written by Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, while production was handled by Bhasker, Haynie and The Smeezingtons.

"Young Girls" is a midtempo pop ballad about how he can't help but succumb to the dubious charms of young girls. It received favorable reviews from music critics, who noted that it is a "sweet and enjoyable" track, while also praising Mars's vocals. It charted in some countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States.


"Young Girls" was first performed on Saturday Night Live and was released as the first promotional single taken from "Unorthodox Jukebox", on November 6, 2012.[2] Later, it was rumoured that the song was scheduled to be the second single from the album.[3] Mars revealed to MTV News that there was little planning involved in releasing "Young Girls". "I felt 'Young Girls' was good," he said. "'Locked Out of Heaven' was something brand new I tried in the studio and it felt like the right thing to do. None of these things are planned, which one goes first, which one goes second. One day I wake up and I say, 'You know what? I want the world to hear this song that I wrote called 'Young Girls,' and I put it out."[3]

In another interview, Mars said about the track, "That's the first song on the album [because] I think it really shows you what this album is going to be, and just where I was when I started this album. Everything's been so new to me, man, I feel like the world's been watching it. Watching me go on tour, watching me perform on TV ... but I [also] feel this is something everyone can relate to: There's a moment in your life where you start going out every night, and it's so fun, but then you start to lose yourself; you get lost in the sauce.[4] So, this song is the same sentiment as 'Lookin' for Love In All the Wrong Places,'" he continued. "It's another confession."[4]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

A 30-second sample of "Young Girls".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"You know what? I sing about girls, ever since I was this big, that's what I do," he laughed. "I'm not there yet ... to sing about politics and, you know, this is what I want to sing about, and this is what I know. I'm not going to preach what I don't know. As much as I love [2 Chainz's] 'All I Want For My Birthday ...' this is where I'm at."

—Mars talking about the song.[4]

"Young Girls" was written by Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, while production was handled by the latter three production-team The Smeezingtons, Bhasker and Haynie.[5] It was written in the key of A major, with Mars's vocals range from the low note of F#3 the high note of C#4.[6] The midtempo pop ballad finds Mars singing about how he can't help indulging in the dubious charms of young girls, even though he recognizes what he is doing is wrong.[7][8] Over a beat that builds from a spare verse groove to an expansive, string-laced chorus, he laments that "those bright eyed honeys" will inevitably be the death of him.[9] "Oh, I still dream of a simple life/Boy meets girl/makes her his wife/But love don’t exist when you live like this... All these roads steer me wrong/But I still drive them all night long/all night long," he sings.[8]

For Carl Williot of Idolator, the song "showcases delicate but dynamic production, with strings commingling with fuzz in the opening bars, reminiscent of Lana Del Rey."[10] He also added that, "Mars effortlessly combines his retro crooner sensibilities with modern sonic flourishes here: the pre-chorus could be from a ’60s girl group, while the thumping percussion and bits of electro flitting in the background are firmly planted in modern pop."[10] Melinda Newman of HitFix pointed out that the song's lyrics has similarities with Gary Puckett & The Union Gap's 'Young Girl' and The Knack's 'My Sharona'.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

The song has received generally favorable reviews from critics. Carl Williott of Idolator gave the song a favorable review, calling the song a "nice flipside" to Mars' previous single "Locked Out of Heaven".[10] Chris Martins of Spin called the song "epic",[2] while Andy Gill of The Independent named it "enjoyable".[11] Melinda Newman of HitFix gave the song a B- rating, praising the melody and Mars' vocal delivery, writing that "he makes it all sound so sweet, and as if he really is tortured by these young girls," but ultimately calling the lyrics "a little skeevy".[8] "DJ Booth" gave the song a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, writing that "this joint is another of the sweeping, romantically-anguished jams Bruno’s fans have come to know and love."[9] Matt Cibula of PopMatters wrote that the song "is as widescreen and wide-open as things get these days, with a thumping martial beat and the classic lament 'Oh you young wild girls / You’ll be the death of me'."[12]

IGN '​s reviewers noted that the song is "slightly reminiscent of "Grenade" in its instrumentation and atmospheric feel. "Young Girls" is a smooth track, detailing the wild girls he's encountered in his time as a super star. The track has a heartfelt notion about it for some reason, something about the tracks establishes a sense of emotion, a sensitivity. Whirling, fuzzy, synths sporadically rip through the background of the song as Bruno sings about his wild nights and his descent down unsavory paths. The song is a vast and open track with scarce instrumentation, but at the same time, it has an unnerving sense of emotion to it. Bruno Mars' vocal chops are commendable, but no more than his previous hits. A good song, regardless.[13]

Jon Caramanica of The New York Times commented that the song "swells something serious, heavy drums pounding as a counterpoint to the ascendant melody. The ambition is undeniable. If it were 1982, this would call for Bono and U2, but in 2012, try Daughtry."[14] Jason Lipshut of Billboard wrote that "The songwriting instincts and throwback vibe (most clearly established from the backing vocals) remain from 'Doo-Wops', but Mars and the Smeezingtons are further exploring the shaded earnestness from 'It Will Rain' here."[15] Jessica Sager of Pop Crush called it "a woeful ballad," writing that "his voice soars accompanied by piano and synths, and it’s a good choice as the first track on ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’."[16] Ryan Reed of Paste Magazine didn't enjoy the song, writing that "when Mars plays it safe, he steps sideways," calling 'Young Girls' "a by-numbers 'shout-out-to-the-honeys' belter."[17]

Chart performance[edit]

Following the release of Unorthodox Jukebox, "Young Girls" managed to chart in several countries due to strong digital downloads. In Canada, the song entered at number 64 on the Canadian Hot 100, due to its release on iTunes.[18] When the album was released, the song peaked at number 22.[18] In US, the song debuted at number 102 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100, due to its release on iTunes.[19] On January 16, 2014 the song debuted on Hot 100 at number 94 and peaked at number 32. The song is part of the Now That's What I Call Music! 50.

In France, "Young Girls" debuted at number 123, leaving the charts at number 176 the following week.[20] The song debuted at number 90 in Ireland and peaked at 76. In UK the song debuted at number 141, after the official release it has so far charted at number 83. "Young Girls" did not enter the Dutch Top 40, but peaked at number eighteen on the Dutch Tipparade chart, which acts as an extension to the Dutch Top 40. In Australia, the song debuted at 62, when it was supposed to become the second single.[21] It was promoted by Bruno Mars in Nova an Australian radio as the official fifth single.[22][23] In South Korea, the song was a success, debuting at number 1, on the "International Download Chart", with 61,493 copies sold. In the second week, the song remained at the top, with 53,516 copies sold.[24]

Cover versions[edit]

An acoustic cover of "Young Girls" was recorded by Mark Kozelek and released in his 2013 album Like Rats.This song was also covered by Chris Jamison in The Voice season 7 in a battle against Johnathan Wyndham

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Young Girls"   3:49
  • A demo of the song (3:38) was included as a bonus track exclusively on the Target deluxe edition of the album.

Credits and personnel[edit]


Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Promotional release[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide November 6, 2012[41] Digital download
(iTunes countdown single)

Single release[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United States December 10, 2013[1] Contemporary hit radio Atlantic
United Kingdom February 17, 2014[42][43]


  1. ^ a b "Top 40/Mainstream > Future Releases". Allacess. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Martins, Chris (November 1, 2012). "Bruno Mars Claims Addiction to 'Young Girls' in 'Unorthodox Jukebox' Ballad". Spin. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Garibaldi, Christina (December 10, 2012). "Bruno Mars' 'Young Girls' Video Will Reflect 'Darker' Album". MTV News. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Montgomery, James (December 13, 2012). "Bruno Mars Gets 'Lost In The Sauce' On 'Young Girls'". MTV News. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ Unorthodox Jukebox (CD liner). Bruno Mars. Atlantic Records. 533064-2. 
  6. ^ "Bruno Mars - Young Girls Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Music Notes. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ Gail Mitchell (December 13, 2013). "Bruno Mars: Billboard Artist of the Year Cover Story". Billboard. Promotheus Global Media. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d Newman, Melinda (November 1, 2012). "Listen: Bruno Mars has it bad for 'Young Girls' on new single". HitFix. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Bruno Mars - Young Girls - Listen". DJ Booth. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Williott, Carl (October 31, 2012). "Bruno Mars’ "Young Girls": Hear The Album Version". Idolator. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ Gill, Andy (December 8, 2012). "Album review: Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox (Atlantic)". The Independent (London). Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  12. ^ Cibula, Matt (December 12, 2012). "Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox". PopMatters. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Album Review: Unorthodox Jukebox by Bruno Mars - Blog by PushxShove - IGN". IGN. 
  14. ^ Caramanica, Jon (December 12, 2012). "Molding Himself to the Moment". The New York Times. p. C1. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (December 11, 2012). "Bruno Mars, 'Unorthodox Jukebox': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard (New York). Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  16. ^ Sager, Jessica (December 4, 2012). "Bruno Mars, 'Unorthodox Jukebox' - Album Review". Pop Crush. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ Reed, Ryan (December 11, 2012). "Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox". Paste (Decatur). Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Bruno Mars - Young Girls - Music Charts". A Charts. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Bruno Mars - Chart History". Billboard. United States: Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b " – Bruno Mars – Young Girls" (in French). Les classement single.
  21. ^ a b "Chartifacts". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on December 19, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  22. ^ "The Music Network Chart Wrap: Dec 5". Radio Today. December 5, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ Smallzy (November 26, 2013). "Smallzy’s Surgery Podcast – 26 November 2013". Nova. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week: December 9, 2012 to December 15, 2012)". Gaon Chart. December 15, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "Bruno Mars Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Bruno Mars. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bruno Mars search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  27. ^ "Chart Track: Week 07, 2014". Irish Singles Chart.
  28. ^ "Bruno Mars Album & Song Chart History" Japan Hot 100 for Bruno Mars. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  29. ^ " – Bruno Mars – Young Girls". Top 40 Singles.
  30. ^ "2, 2014/ Archive Chart: March 2, 2014" UK Singles Chart.
  31. ^ "Bruno Mars Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Bruno Mars. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  32. ^ "Bruno Mars Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Bruno Mars. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  33. ^ "Bruno Mars Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Bruno Mars. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  34. ^ "Bruno Mars Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Bruno Mars. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  35. ^ "Bruno Mars Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Bruno Mars. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  36. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". ARIA Charts (Australia: Australian Recording Industry Association). Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Bruno Mars – Young Girls". Music Canada. 
  38. ^ UNSUPPORTED OR EMPTY REGION: South Korea (Gaon).
  39. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  40. ^ "American single certifications – Bruno Mars – Young Girls". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 26, 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  41. ^ Martins, Chris (November 1, 2012). "Bruno Mars Claims Addiction to 'Young Girls' in 'Unorthodox Jukebox' Ballad". Spin. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  42. ^ Lane, Daniel (February 17, 2014). "This Week's New Releases 17-02-2014". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  43. ^ Wolfson, Sam (February 14, 2014). "Lorde, Kodaline, Bruno Mars: this week's new tracks". The Guardian. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]