Mark Ronson: Uptown Special | Album Review

Thu, Jan 29, 2015, 13:00


Uptown Special

Mark Ronson

Sony Music


There can be few souls alive yet to hear this album’s calling card, Uptown Funk. A blockbuster with hooks for days and Bruno Mars fired up and in rare form, that radio- and dancefloor-friendly track was also a timely reminder of Mark Ronson’s credentials in creating great songs and sounds. While he’s always surrounded himself with star vocalists and A-list collaborators, it’s Ronson’s name over the door here, so the big calls are his alone. Blue-chip producer Jeff Bhasker heads a dizzy cast of helpers, from Stevie Wonder to novelist Michael Chabon, who aid and assist Ronson on an album that swaggers and swings. Some will damn what Ronson does as pastiche, but the energy Mystikal brings to Feel Right, the gospel piping of Keyone Starr on I Can’t Lose, and the trippy wash of Daffodils, thanks to Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, most certainly cannot be tarred with that brush. A cracker from tip to toe.