Under Review: Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. – Record Collection

As DJ to and of the stars, Mark Ronson probably could’ve retired from the studio after 2007’s career-defining Version.  The smart and sassy production roped in some of Ronson’s finest musical friends to cover a handful of eclectic tunes.  Little did we know that, with Version, Ronson was only distracting us while making the calls for the Rolodex-draining Record Collection.  Not unlike his underground debut, Here Comes The Fuzz, Record Collection blends Ronson’s up-and-coming finds with his more established pals, sometimes on the same track.  The set’s lead song, “Bang Bang Bang,” fits that mold, with Q-Tip trading verses with MNDR’s Amanda Warner.  It’s a synthy, theme-song kind of tune that gets Record Collection off to a rousing start.  After all, Ronson had it somewhat easy with Version: we didn’t have to be convinced of the songs’ merits as they were all covers.  Record Collection’s songs were primarily written by the various singers, with Alex Greenwald (formerly of Phantom Planet) contributing to many of the tracks.  The overall result is a funky, dynamic blend of hip-hop, pop and dance music; all things that Ronson had shown strengths in before.

While it’s not a surprising album to that effect, Ronson knows just how to tickle that lobe that makes you smile and strut at the same time.  “The Bike Song,” with Spank Rock and The View’s Kyle Falconer, spins its chain through a loopy series of increasingly catchy hooks.  Record Collection, like Version, is defined as much by its songs as it is by its guests.  Though ex-Pipette Rose Elinor “Rosay” Dougall is featured more than anyone else, her voice only rarely commands the tunes on which she appears (though she certainly delivers on “Hey Boy”).  Instead, it’s Simon LeBon (the lovely “Record Collection”), Boy George (“Somebody To Love Me”) and Ghostface Killah (“Lose It (In The End)”) who bring the strongest components to the album’s busy construction.  Yeah, it jumps around a lot and is best taken as a singular party disc, but Record Collection is just the kind of album that we should be getting from Ronson at this point.  After he easily reinvented our favorite songs, Ronson’s Record Collection proves that he’s more than just a version; he’s an original.

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~ by E. on October 6, 2010.

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