Record Collection

by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl

2007 saw the release of producer wunderkind Mark Ronsonís second album Version. His debut effort Here Comes the Fuzz was released four years previous to it, and although a critical success, it didnít exactly set the charts on fire. Version however, was a completely different kettle of fiery fish.

boom - Mark Ronson & The Business Intl image

Not only did his fresh take on certain other tracks hit all the right notes, but having some famous names turn up with a helping hand certainly didnít hurt. Lily Allen, Winy Amhouse, Robbie Williams, Maximo Parkís Paul Smith and the Kasabian fellas all guest starred on the album. Mark Ronson had arrived.

For his third album, Mark has turned those tables, as it were; everyone who appears on it isnít as famous as him. But does Ronson have what it takes to make it on his own merit?

There is something a little disappointing about having vocalists that youíve never heard of feature on these songs. Many of them sound like sound-e-like-ees; thatís not to say they donít do a bloody good job, but itís a little like having vegetarian sausages; theyíre all very well, but you canít beat having the real thing.

But on the other hand, it doesnít really matter. You see, Ronson clearly knows his stuff, and not only flits from one genre to the next with consummate ease, but he does it with a cohesive style. As you would expect from someone of his talent, the production is near faultless. And where it may be deemed audacious by some to include an instrumental on an album, Ronson throws caution to the wind by having a handful of them. Not only that, but theyíre some of the highlights of the album, in particular, the almighty ĎCircuit Breakerí, which could quite possibly be the best instrumental since Hot Butterís 1972 classic ĎPopcorní.

Elsewhere Ronson playfully mixes the likes of pop with rap (ĎBang, Bang, Bangí), rap with indie (ĎThe Bike Songí), pop and disco (ĎGlass Mountain Trustí) etc. itís a little like an all you can eat buffet for your ears, with a little of this and a slice of that on the same audio plate.

Record Collection is proof that Ronson doesnít need the support of his famous friends; thatís not to say that a knock on one of their doors in the future wouldnít be a welcome one, but it isnít a deal breaker. Ronsonís album does exactly what it says on the tin Ė itís a collection of records. And a mighty fine one at that.

four out of five