Saturday, 27 November 2010

Album Review: Record Collection

Mark Ronson and the Business Intl - Record Collection

This album, advertised all over London during September, did not initially pike my interest, until I saw Mark Ronson on the Rob Brydon show. He was so charismatic and entertaining that I decided to give it a go. I watched a few videos on youtube firstly, and 'The Bike Song' and 'Circuit Breaker' were so different to the majority of music these days that I went out and bought the album.

Now, I have had good and bad experiences buying albums after only hearing one or perhaps two songs. Sam Sparro's debut album impressed me greatly after only hearing 'Black and Gold' a few years ago. Empire of the Sun is another good example.

Record Collection's catalogue of songs takes influence from 80's synthpop with a touch of 70's disco thrown in. Using talented vocalists as his leads, such as the amazing Rose Elinor Dougall and Amanda Warner from MNDR (featured on the first track, 'Bang Bang Bang')

The main influences I can hear in Mark Ronson's work is Eurythmics, Roxette, Depeche Mode, with an infusion of new millenium hard dance. This album is pure ecstasy for the ears, with no tracks that you would want to skip. A breakdown of the album is like so:

1. Bang Bang Bang - Featuring Q-Tip and MNDR - This track is brilliant, the epitome of new synth, with an infectious rhythm and funky French lyrics in the chorus that are delivered with a cool and effortless attitude. The video clip is also fantastic. Link:

2. Lose It (In the End)- (featuring Ghostface Killah and Alex Greenwald) - The R'n'B and rap fusion in this track really works, with a lacing of trance in the middle, an eclectic and toe-tapping mix. Link:"

3. The Bike Song - (featuring Kyle Falconer and Spank Rock)- This is a funky track, a bit more pop than the others, with a laid-back and casual feel, Kyle Falconer's voice suits this track, the rap in the middle is lighthearted and fun. Link:

4. Somebody to Love Me - (featuring Boy George and Andrew Wyatt) - A fantastic mix of ballad and pop, the lyrics indicate sadness and a kind of regret for what one's future has become. 'See the boy I once was in my eyes' especially shows this. Link:

5. You Gave Me Nothing - (featuring Rose Elinor Dougall and Andrew Wyatt) - This would be a fantastic break-up song, it empowers the individual I absolutely adore Dougall's voice, it's smooth as honey and has a slight Brit twang to it. A song that should be pumped loud, as should all of them, really. Link:

6. The Colour of Crumar - A little instrumental ditty, that is still quite catchy all on its own, but would be great as a lead-in to a longer song as well. Or even used on a movie score, it would work quite well. Link:"

7. Glass Mountain Trust - (featuring D'Angelo) - Another song with a bit of R'n'B fusion. D'Angelo's voice really adds a depth to this song that perhaps wouldn't be there without him. The 'I'm Free Now' lyric really resonates. Link:

8. Circuit Breaker - Another instrumental, but this time it is absolutely addictive to listen to, could be formatted to fit a jazz or hip-hop dance group, or be remixed to play in clubs, the stop-start type format of the song leaves you wanting more when it ends. This song could be doubled in time and it would be just as awesome. Link:

9. Introducing the Business - (featuring Pill and London Gay Men's Chorus)- 'This is the business, prepare to take witness' - Another synth/rap fusion, Ronson's way of mixing these genres assures that it is always something that works. Although I thought this track perhaps should be track 1. Link:

10. Record Collection - (featuring Simon Le Bon and Wiley) - The lyrics to this track is better than the music itself. Which is a bit repetitive, but that is not to say it is a bad track, but the music isn't as addictive as some of the other songs. Link:

11. Selector - A slow, easy listening track that is a good transition between the two sandwiching songs. Link:

12. Hey Boy -(featuring Rose Elinor Dougall and Theophilus London) - Another gorgeous song with the velvety voice of Dougall, this is a very 'in love' song. The lyric 'that boy, he's so beautiful, sleeping in the chair' - what a stunning line. This song reminds me of love. The rap, is perhaps a bit misplaced in this song, it's funky, but not really needed. Link:

13. Missing Words - Another instrumental, a thing I love about this album is that they showcase their musical talent as well as lyrical. This has a slight harmonical feel about it. Link:

14. The Night Last Night - (featuring Rose Elinor Dougall and Alex Greenwald)
This is a very funky, and different song, they have broken the music mould with this, adding upbeat drum beats, and Dougall's voice, again, slows it right down and changes the pace at all the right moments. A brilliant track. Link:

All in all, this album is very worth buying, and I am hoping that sometime in the future, they release a special edition with a DVD, or extra tracks and such. Mark Ronson has exploded onto the music scene and I hope this is not the last we hear of him, or his record collection.

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