Mark Ronson 'Record Collection'
So my ears and I walked into the record thinking ‘OMG this is going to be the greatest thing since Gak, I am so excited’ and for the most part, we were right.
Ronson’s third album is quite a departure from 2007’s Version
(the covers record which upset Smiths fans so much with Daniel Merriweather’s take on ‘Stop Me’ that they threatened to stab Ronson in the eye – unfair really – it was a good album). There’s been distinct move into Hip-Hop-Indie and a step away from the brass-band magic which has characterised Ronson’s work as a producer.
There’s no denying that the golden formula here is Great Producer + Famous Friends + Good Marketing. The list of guest appearances on this record is ridiculous – Q-Tip, Ghostface Killah, Boy George, Spank Rock, D’Angelo – D’ANGELO! He got D’Angelo to record something – If you don’t know who D’Angelo is – watch this
and then go to his Wikipedia and notice that the former sex god of R’n’B hasn’t done anything in ten years
The first two singles that hit the airwaves – ‘Bang Bang Bang’ and ‘Bike Song’ - are both great tracks, but the hidden gems on this album are ‘Lose It (In The End)’ - classic Ronson smushed with a dash of Atari nostalgia and a healthy dose of Ghostface Killah’s frenetic rhymes; and ‘Somebody to Love Me’ a gentle calypso journey lead by Boy George of all people. I wasn’t sure how one would go about working with George in a way that wouldn’t end up being totally ironic ala Rick Astley or but this is actually one of my favourite songs on the album.
‘Glass Mountain Trust’ – the track featuring D’Angelo, is a strange experience for those familiar with the R’n’B crooner. With its stand-up beats and vocal effects, it ends up sounding a little Gnarls Barkley, but this is a great ballsy way to introduce D’angelo to a new generation of music fans.
Fourteen tracks long, Record Collection
starts to fade a little halfway when we hit, ironically enough, ‘Circuit Breaker’ – a short intrumental track in ode to ‘80s video games that doesn’t really translate to listening without the filmclip that stars Ronson as a mini Zelda-ish warrier.
From this point the album kind of just rolls to a close and goes through the motions, but luckily the first seven tracks are strong enough to still warrant this being a killer album in my mind. Plus Ronson gets extra points for completely snubbing Winehouse.