It’s hard to get a read on Mark Ronson. Is he a gifted producer, amazing networker and innovative composer? Or is he an over hyped, privileged one-trick-pony?
In truth, he’s probably a bit of both. His third album, Record Collection, is released today — and while it follows the guest star formula of his breakout sophomore release Version, it makes a sonic shift from hip-hop horns to 80’s keytar.
The first two singles maintained the hip-hop connection, with the always-up-for-a-guest-spot Q-Tip appearing on “Bang Bang Bang” and Spank Rock contributing to “The Bike Song”.
Phantom Planet’s Alex Greenwald, who did a nice take on Radiohead’s “Just” for Version, teams up with Wu Tanger Ghostface Killah for the standout “Lose It (In The End)”:
Ronson has been at the controls of the forthcoming Duran Duran record, so it only makes sense that Simon Le Bon would pitch in. He lends a weighty chorus to the ironic “Record Collection”:
It’s evident that Ronson is a man with many ideas. Not all of them are good, but he can make them sound good enough and fill them out with an all-star cast. Ultimately, these solo projects may be a nice diversion, but Ronson’s legacy will be tied to Amy Winehouse, Duran Duran and whomever else he produces to the top of the charts.
“The Bike Song” is fun and all, but who’s going to remember this?