I love Mark Ronson’s take on classic pop sounds (Uptown Funk is without a doubt my favourite song of the decade), and I’ve been really enjoying his recent singles. The new album is out this week, and I’m excited to hear more.
Late Night Prelude
A bit of electronic instrumental buildup to the next track. A really nice addition.
Late Night Feelings
A current chart hit that I really like. I love the retro ’70s-ish stylings on the beat and backing track, and Lykke Li’s vocal line is gorgeous.
Find U Again
I’ve seen a lot of buzz about this Camila Cabello collaboration but this is the first time I’ve heard it. A nice bass-y piece of pop with a pretty tune.
Pieces Of Us
Another gorgeous tune. This one’s a bit slower at first, and more wistful, with the focus mainly on King Princess’ vocals.
Knock Knock Knock
The first of three consecutive songs with an appearance from Yebba. This is a nice old-fashioned funk track with almost gospel-esque vocals, which I’m all about.
Don’t Leave Me Lonely
Lovely atmosphere on this one, with the vocals turning more soulful. To my ear it’s got a bit of a ’90s vibe.
When U Went Away
Epic slow synth line! Straight out of the ’80s and straight onto my regular playlist.
Some slightly harsher electronic stuff going on in the background here. Alicia Keys is on vocal duties, which also gives the track an edgier feel. A nice change of pace.
Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
This was a big hit around Christmas time, and while I wasn’t sure about the country ‘n’ western vibe at first, I really fell for it hard after a few listens. Gorgeous atmosphere, beautiful emotional vocals from Miley Cyrus.
There’s a sort of old-timey muddy gramophone effect over the opening sequence, before the track launches into a smooth beat-driven march. It’s Angel Olsen doing the vocals for this one, and they’ve got a nice dreamy feel.
Some good classic-sounding piano on this slower, more introspective track, with Diana Gordon’s vocals feeling more classically pop than some of the other offerings on the album.
Lykke Li returns for another slow track, which starts off with some interesting Wings-esque instrumentals and slowly builds to a nice mournful chorus.
We finish with a slow, dreamlike piece of electronica, complete with robotic-sounding vocals (including a callback to Late Night Feelings) from Ilsey. It’s a wistful note to end on, which sums up the album perfectly.
I should note that a lot of the media buzz around this album has focused on the fact that it’s a breakup album, largely inspired by Mark Ronson’s divorce. I don’t really hear lyrics (being hard of hearing means that it’s difficult for me to make them out, which in turn means I’ve developed a lifelong habit of not really listening to them), so this is something I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. I do think it’s really interesting that all the guest vocalists on the album are women, which to me gives it a more vulnerable feel.
Overall, it’s a lovely chilled-out listening experience. Great stuff.