A lot has been said about Mark Ronson. Some have called him "a 21st century Quincy Jones," while others know him as one of the worlds finest DJ's with International renown, favored by the decadent fashion cognoscenti, the Hip-Hop elite and anyone in general who likes to party... Now add to that list THE PRODUCER DU JOUR! From his stellar production on Christina Aguilera's multi-platinum "Back To Basics" to his cutting edge contributions on the much buzzed about Lilly Allen album "Alright, Still Back To Black" and the genre bending Amy Winehouse release that's taking fans and critics by storm, Mr Mark Ronson is strutting his stuff, and strutting it well.
With all the production credits for other artists under his belt, he's now turned his attention to his own project, Version, the album the UK critics are calling a Major winner. Version is a beautiful collection of cover songs, re-imagined by Mark. His philosophy on Version was to work with songs he's long loved- while not trying to make them better, he just wanted to make them bounce... From the feel good "Valerie" cover (The Zutons) featuring Amy Winehouse, to the quirky and fun "Oh My God" (Kaiser Chiefs) featurung Lily Allen, to the piece de resistance: "Stop Me" (The Smiths), featuring the soul stirring vocals of newcomer Daniel Merriweather, Version is poised to be the must-have album this summer
Following up his success in helping produce Amy Winehouse's Back to Black
, Mark Ronson's second solo project covers a series of mostly British indie-rock songs but with a funky soul remake. The meeting of two styles you ordinarily wouldn't associate with one another makes for some interesting hybrids. The cover of Radiohead's "Just," done with Phantom Planet is unexpectedly excellent but hearing Tiggers and Ol' Dirty Bastard remaking "Toxic" by Britney Spears will probably leave more folks scratching their heads than nodding them. Overall, the balance is positive and should hopefully open up both indie rock and funk fans to both respective genres. In a class by itself is Winehouse's cover of the Zutons' "Valerie," --the best song Paul Weller and Martha Reeves never made. --Oliver Wang