Mark Ronson has always had a penchant for retro. I have said this in posts about other artists, and it most certainly holds true for Ronson’s newest music: it sounds like he went “back to the future” to create his signature sound, and I ain’t mad at it. His latest incarnation is Mark Ronson and the Business Intl (yes folks, that’s shorthanded on purpose. Apparently he is too busy to bother with spelling the word “international” out in full, or even adding an apostrophe between the “t” and the “l.” Sign o’ the Twitter times I guess). Here are a handful of tunes off his new album titled Record Collection, which is scheduled for U.S. release on September 28, 2010:
First up: “The Bike Song.” Starts of interestingly enough with Spank Rock chanting “I ride around town/ around-round-around/with the petal to the met-/the pedal to wherever.” It’s reminiscent of the Sugar Hill Gang-type rapping, which I grew up listening to and can’t get enough of. Then comes the lead vocals, performed by Kyle Falconer of the Scottish rock band The View.
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Kyle Falconer sounds and looks like a long lost member of The Monkees (shout out to Davy Jones). The song makes me want to go out and buy a bike so that I can listen to this song whilst riding it (yeah, I don’t own a bike…don’t judge me). “Gonna ride my bike until I get home” goes the chorus. There’s even a chingly bike bell-horn effect. Spank Rock comes back with a nerderific verse that fits in rather nicely. It’s so British, so gleeful, and so…green!
Next up: “Bang Bang Bang,” which includes Q-Tip and Amanda Warner of the electro-duo MNDR (pronounced “Mandar”). This track would be considered more on the futuristic side, even though there is a strong 80’s synth presence throughout (it’s that “back to the future” shit, y’all!!!). Tip’s delivery is on point as per usual, and the video is quite the cosmopolitan affair with MNDR’s super-catchy French chorus and Mark Ronson’s interview conducted in French and Japanese. Point blank: the song is pretty dope.
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Last up: “Lose It (In The End)” featuring the always lyrically adept Ghostface Killah. I love love love this joint right here!!! At 2 minutes 25 seconds, it’s a short and sweet number. Ghost didn’t disappoint when he snuck onto Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good” and he doesn’t disappoint here. This track makes me wish that Mark Ronson would produce Ghostface’s next album.
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So: take some 80s breakbeats and synths, mix in a lil’ 60s-70s panache, and sprinkle it with the optimism and freshness of the year 2010 and beyond, and you’ve got Mark Ronson’s latest sound. Not too much of a deviation from what he’s done in the past, but there’s definitely a more pronounced British-ness to these songs that makes me feel the pride that Mark has for his homeland. It’s that “back to the future” shit, y’all! The revolution might not be televised, but I guarantee you’ll catch a glimpse of it if you take a look through Ronson’s Record Collection.