Talking to the Moon (song)

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"Talking to the Moon"
Promotional single by Bruno Mars from the album Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Released March 25, 2011
Format Digital download
Recorded 2009
Larabee Sound Studios
Levcon Studios
Genre Jazz
Length 3:37 / 2:50 (acoustic version)
Label Atlantic, Elektra
Writer Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Albert Winkler, Jeff Bhasker
Producer The Smeezingtons, Bhasker (co.)
Doo-Wops & Hooligans track listing
"Marry You"
"Talking to the Moon"
"Liquor Store Blues"

"Talking to the Moon" is a song by singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, from his debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010), included as its seventh track. The song was written by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Albert Winkler and Jeff Bhasker, while being produced by The Smeezingtons and co-produced by Bhasker. It was conceived as a big power jazz ballad. Throughout its lyrics, Mars describes a failed relationship.

The track was first unveiled in Mars' debut extended play (EP) It's Better If You Don't Understand. Upon the release of Doo-Wops & Hooligans, "Talking to the Moon" received generally favorable reviews from music critics. Following the soundtrack of Brazilian telenovela Insensato Coração, Warner Music decided to release it as an official single in Brazil, after receiving high airplay.[1] The song charted at number one on the Brazilian airplay charts. It has been covered by a number of artists.


"Talking to the Moon" was first recorded by Mars for his debut extended play, It's Better If You Don't Understand, released on May 11, 2010, under Fueled by Ramen.[2] When asked about the lyrical content of the EP, Mars stated, "I just write songs that I strongly believe in and that are coming from inside. There's no tricks. It's honesty with big melodies. And I'm singing the s*** out of them."[3] The track was later included on his debut studio album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, released on October 4, 2010, almost five months later, under Elektra and Atlantic.[4] It was also recorded an acoustic piano version included on the deluxe edition of the album[5] and in the charity compilation album Songs for Japan, released on March 25, 2011.[6] Ari Levine from The Smeezingtons stated that "Talking To The Moon" was one of his favorite songs on the album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. He explained that, "We only had the first verse and the horns, but we knew that it was great. We then had three different bridges and we spent a lot of time trying to find out which one was the best. Jeff Bhasker is a fantastic musician, and he helped write that track. I think we tried to arrange and produce this in four different ways, mostly trying to figure out what kind of drums to put on."[7]


A 26 second sample of "Talking to the Moon" that features Mars singing the verses "In hopes you're on the other side/ Talking to me too".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Talking to the Moon" is a jazz power ballad that lasts for three minutes and twenty-eight seconds. It was written by Albert Winkler, Jeff Bhasker, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine, and produced by the latter two.[8] With a stripped-down production, its instrumental is essentially composed of the sounds of drums and piano.[9] The song is composed in the key of C# minor and is set in time signature of common time, with a ballad tempo of 73 beats per minute. Mars' vocal range spans from G3 to C5. It follows chord progression E-G7-Cm-B-A.[10] Lyrically, Mars depicted feelings of loneliness, lost and hope as he sings it of in the chorus: "Talking to the moon/Try to get to you/In hopes you're on the other side/Talking to me, too",[9] and as the song carries on, it shows a vulnerable side of the singer with soft, sincere lyrics, about a lost love that has now gone.[11] The lyrics reveal the singers' desire as he "hopes his former flame is talking to the moon just as he is."[12][unreliable source?]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. While reviewing the debut EP, Bill Lamb of said "Talking to the Moon" "is possibly the weakest simply because the heavy production threatens to overwhelm the centerpiece of Bruno Mars' singing. It is a big power jazz ballad that would work well from the stage."[13] Mike Diver of BBC Music considered the song "a ballad devoid of detectable emotion",[14] and Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly, while reviewing the debut studio album, said, "a malt-shop heart beats beneath the digital skin of tracks like the buoyant "Marry You" and woebegone "Talking to the Moon"."[15] Reviewer, Emily Yang, from The Signal said: ""Talking to the Moon" focuses on ... his sorrow. He sings of loneliness which is almost palpable in the chorus."[9] Alex Young, from Consequence of Sound, believes that the song "may be the best of this collection [album]", adding "this track is primed for radio; a soft, sincere, piano-driven song about a lost love that has now gone ... belts the vulnerable Mars."[11] Tyrone S. Reid, from Seattle Post-Intelligencer, said the song was "beautifully written, waxing poetic about love and longing – a forte that the singer employs with great results in his work."[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song was part of the soundtrack of the Brazilian telenovela Insensato Coração, which generated most of the song's success. Due to high airplay, Warner Music decided to release it as an official single in Brazil.[1][17] The song went on to reach number one on both Billboard Brasil Hot Pop & Popular and the Brasil Hot 100 Airplay, in which it spent nine weeks at number one, becoming the fourth song with most weeks spent at the top.[18]

Live performances[edit]

The song was performed several times during his debut worldwide tour, The Doo-Wops & Hooligans Tour; it was the fourteenth song of his set list.[19]

Cover versions and usage in media[edit]

Ellie Robertson covered the song. The song was used in the soundtrack of Brazilian telenovela Insensato Coração.[1] It was also used in the movies A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures. "Talking to the Moon" can be heard in the movie.[20] It's attributed to Mars in the final credits. "Talking to the Moon" was also included in an acoustic piano version on charity compilation album Songs for Japan, released on March 25, 2011.[6] It was also used in the movie Think Like A Man released in 2012.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Mixing and mastering
  • Mixed at Larrabee Sound Studios, Hollywood, California; mastered at Marcussen Mastering, Hollywood, California; engineered at Levcon Studios, Hollywood, California.

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Elektra Records[8]


Chart (2011) Peak
Brazil Hot 100 Airplay (Billboard)[18] 1
Brazil Hot Pop Songs (Billboard)[18] 1


  1. ^ a b c "Bruno Mars estána trilha de "Insensato Coração"" (in Portuguese). Warner Music Brasil. June 21, 2011. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bruno Mars " Album " It's Better If You Don't Understand". MTV. MTV Networks. May 11, 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Bruno Mars Blasts Off Into the Top Ten Albums Chart on iTunes With New Digital EP" (Press release). Marketwire. May 5, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Doo-Wops & Hooligans". Retrieved September 29, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Doo-wops & Hooligans - edition collector". iTunes Store. October 5, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Songs for Japan by Various Artists". iTunes Store. March 25, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ Paul Tingen (June 2011). "Ari Levine & The Smeezingtons: Producing Bruno Mars". Sound on Sound. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Doo-Wops & Hooligans (CD booklet). Bruno Mars. United States: 2-525393. 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Emily Yang (October 5, 2010). "Album Review: Doo-Wops & Hooligans". The Signal. Georgia State University. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Bruno Mars Talking to the Moon – Digital Sheet Music". Music Notes. EMI Music Publishing. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Alex Young (December 3, 2010). "Album Review: Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans". Consequence of Sound. Consequence of Sound LCC. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ Sherri Thornhill (December 2, 2010). "Bruno Mars Doo Wops & Hooligans CD Review". Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ Lamb, Bill (May 11, 2010). "Bruno Mars - It's Better If You Don't Understand". The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  14. ^ Diver, Mike (January 20, 2011). "Mars' solo debut is geared for maximum appeal". BBC Music. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (September 29, 2010). "Doo-Wops & Hooligans Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time, Inc. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  16. ^ Tyrone S. Reid (April 26, 2011). "Music Review: Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Bruno Mars: Talking to the Moon". Bruno June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c BPP, ed. (2011). "Billboard Brasil Hot 100 Airplay". Billboard Brasil. 21° Edição: 78–79. 
  19. ^ Holly Frith (August 17, 2013). "Bruno Mars Brings 'Doo-Wops & Hooligans' To London on UK Tour". Gigwise. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Sammy's avonturen: De geheime doorgang Soundtrack" (in German). Retrieved December 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]