New comers know him for the wildly popular song “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars…Yes featuring because that is not Bruno Mars’ song, which is what my own mother thought. I quickly educated her, and said this is Mark Ronson’s song!!!. I mostly know of Mark Ronson from great songs, and videos like Valerie featuring Amy Winehouse and “Oh My God” featuring “Lily Allen”. Mark Ronson has produced great songs starring/featuring fantastic artist, and his sound is never redundant, which is quite unique in the pop ruled world we live in.
Mark’s new album Uptown Special was recently released and let me just say If you’re looking for replicas of Uptown Funk you won’t get it completely. You’ll get the old school feel but also different aspects of old school. At first listen I just pressed play and didn’t bother looking at the features, but that was immediately put to an end. As soon as I heard the sound of a harmonica in the first song I said “That must be Stevie Wonder”. To my delightful surprise it was THE Stevie Wonder. I like the album but Stevie’s two track appearances made me like it even more. Yet I still am not in love with Uptown Special. The rest of the track list features the likes of Andrew Wyatt, Kevin Parker, Jeff Bhasker, Keyone Starr, and Mystical. The only name that I somewhat recognized from before was Mystical. As soon as I heard the song “Feel right” featuring him I immediately remembered who this guy was. We all know that song “Shake ya A**, watch ya-self, Shake ya A**, show me what you working wit”. Yes that’s the one. Anyhow on this album Mystical cracks me up with his lyrics. He still kept it somewhat soulful which is a theme on this album. “Feel Right” will make you feel energized; like instant caffeine. Beware of the profanity though. When you listen to Uptown Special it may sound reminiscent to 70 & 80’s Rock/Pop/Soul. It’s like a stew, and when I listen to this album for some reason I think of Rick James.
Uptown Special is in a lane of its own an unlike any other pop record out there, while still incorporating a refreshing old school feel. Top five songs I recommend are “Uptown Funk” of course, “Feel Right”, “Uptown’s First Finale”, “Crack in the Pearl, Pt. II”, and “I Can’t Lose”.