Artist: Mark Ronson
Album: Uptown Special
Producers: Ronson, Jeff Bhasker
Sales & Charts: #1 UK (33.000 copies, 1st week), #5 USA (76.000, 1st week).
My Rating: 6.5/10
It’s here, “Uptown Special” by british musician, DJ, singer and producer Mark Ronson is finally on stores and reached the Top 10 in 6 countries: UK, USA, Australia, Netherlands, Ireland and New Zealand as of now. Ronson’s fourth solo album features Bruno Mars, Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), Stevie Wonder, Andrew Wyatt, Mystikal, Jeff Bhasker (who co-produced the album) and Keyone Starr.
First of all the first single from this album is the first big worldwide hit of the 2015 and has the potential to keep this year’s throne. “Uptown Funk” features Bruno Mars (he co-wrote and co-produced the song) and charted at #1 in the UK, in the US and in many others countries. Obviously this song is the key of this album, the key that has open the door of the success. Without Bruno Mars’ help Mark Ronson’s Upton Special wouldn’t have been so successful, for sure.
Anyway the catchiest songs on this record are probably “Summer Breaking” (Track 1 “Uptown’s First Finale” introduces pretty well to this song), “Daffodils”, which is the second single, and “Leaving Los Feliz” where Ronson gets a little bit of help from Tame Impala’s frontman and main songwriter Kevin Parker. These songs sound a bit like Tame Impala’s second album “Lonerism”, which is very good, isn’t it?
Track 3 “Feel Right”, ft. rapper Mystikal, kinda anticipates Uptown Funk. Probably because Bruno Mars co-wrote and co-produced this one as well and it has a funk vibe too. After “Uptown Funk” “I Can’t Lose” comes, sang by Keyone Starr. An old style disco song well produced by Ronson and Bhasker. “Heavy and Rolling” reminds me of The Black Keys’ single Turn Blue. It’s an “elegant, classy and relaxing song and it fits very well on this record.
“Crack In the Pearl” is the slowest song in Uptown Special and it gets a little better in “Crack In the Pearl, Pt. 2”, track 11 that closes the album. The melody is good, but it could sound a little bit boring compared to the others because of the ‘tempo’.
It’s a 6.5/10 for me. This is a solid, well produced, catchy album with great moments in there. Commercially towed by Bruno Mars’ presence on Uptown Funk, but people have to forget for a minute about this big hit and try to listen the whole record, because it’s worth it.