What do you know about Mark Ronson? I read somewhere that he dj’d some celebrity wedding where he got so trashed he puked below the turntables. I oddly respect that dedication to both the beats and the booze. There was no quit in him. Besides that he’s had to put up with producing awful Lilly Allen (is there a more constantly disappointing WWTDD nipple slip out there than her? For fucks sake man put some clothes on) and constantly deal with his idiot sister and her coke whore of a girlfriend. I imagine family bbqs are a nightmare. Where am I going with this? Mark Ronson seems like a decent guy. Turns out he makes killer mixes too.
Ronson, after stringing together hits as producer, most notably on Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” and his collection of covers “Versions,” decided he wanted to celebrate his record collection…hence this album title. He set a goal and he knocked it out of the park. Ronson, a child of the 80’s, has made an an album that celebrates the “Me Decade” that molded him into the man/super producer he is today. Here on “Record Collection” Ronson creates a sonic time capsule with a little help from a solid array of guest artists that when cobbled together challenges Maxim Balloon in mixtape-esque baddassery. Blasphemy, I know. I’ve been raving about Maximum Balloon for months, but this in many ways is a better album. Hmm..perhaps I mean a better sampler. (speaking of “sampling” Ronson dated Daisy Lowe, who starred in the Esquire made video for Maximum Balloon’s Tiger”. I’ll take every chance i get to share that link)
This is like an “I Love the 80’s’” Mixtape….with out all those snarky unfunny asides from washed up celebs (who I’m sure are all featured on Hollywood Is Calling and comedians grasping at some tv time.). The only difference is instead of having to sit through “Safety Dance” for the 100th time (gladly!) you get to hear NEW 80’s songs. Music “inspired by” the 80’s is a far better way to describe it….and what better way to craft an homage to that “Greed is Good” decade than by getting Duran Duran and Boy Fucking George to sing on your album. Apparently Ronson has been working with Duran Duran for a year now working on their “great big comeback” album. If I allowed my brother on this Drop blast he’d be far too excited about this news. He’s always been way into Duran Duran…some might say to an unhealthy level. If you told him about this comeback album he’s surely retort “Comeback? But they never left!!!!” I’m still requesting a DNA test to verify that we’re twins. I will give him credit where credit is due though, Simon Lebon’s guest vocals on the title track truly shine. Maybe I should revisit the LeBon back catalog…
Right when I start having those dark thoughts the album shifts gears. That’s the beauty of this “Record Collection”. It offers up variety. At any point you can go from Boy George clamoring for love to Ghostface Killah throwing down classic verses married to celebratory Ronson produced beats,aided by vocal cues from Alex Greenwald of Phantom Planet. Not sold yet? How about Mr “Humdrum Town” himself Theophilus London. No? Record Collection also guests Spank Rock, DeAngelo, MDNR, Miike Snow, and Rose Elinor Dougall (of the Pipettes). Even Q-Tip gets in on the act on “”Bang Bang Bang””, jumping on in his Delorean and channeling his inner “Groove is in the Heart“. Yeah Yeah that was 1990..but I’ll always consider that Dee-Lite shit the swan song of the 80s.
Highlights: “Bang Bang Bang,” “The Bike Song,” “Record Collection,” “Somebody To Love Me”
Go check him out this week!
October 12th – Webster Hall – New York, NY (with Francis and the Lights)
October 14th – Club Nokia – Los Angeles, CA (with Miike Snow)
October 15th – The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA (with Miike Snow)
Watch Ronson, Q-Tip, and MDNR perform Bang Bang Bang on Letterman last night here