Friday, May 25, 2007

the non-review review of mark ronson's new ish

I feel that I tend to walk a really fine line between militant ethnic writer and dude-who-calls-people-out-on-their-BS. Obviously, I've made my distaste for a certain local (Un)American Idol pretty fuggin' public, at the same time, I went somewhat batshit crazy over Dawhud and Amy Winehouse's records. That said, I was reluctant to enjoy Mark Ronson's new album, "Version."

For those who don't know, Mark Ronson is a White, privileged, trust fund baby, through and through. This dude was a model (or something like that) who parlayed his family's musical connections (dude's stepfather is Mick Jones) into a somewhat respectable DJ career. Then he put out the fantastic banger "Here Comes the Fuzz," which had the best Wu-Tang records on it. Somehow, he started "producing" tracks for the likes of Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen and using Sharon Jones' backing band, the Dap-Kings to bring their retro brand of Soul to these English broads jacking the same steez that Lauryn Hill jacked eight years ago.

I have every reason to hate "Version." It's much more derivative of that Pitchfork hipster pop shit that seems to be all the rage. The guests are a who's who of Lindsay Lohan playlist favorites: Maximo Park, Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Kenna, Phantom Planet and Kasabian. There are some covers of The Smiths and Radiohead tunes that completely rework how they sound. All of this comes via Ronson's connections which were funded by his mommy and daddy's cash.

Despite all of this, I still dig this record. Maybe it's because I'm a little older, so hearing the same Beyonce song (or Rhianna), has sort of lost its luster, but I really can't hate on this album. It's catchy as all hell and the cover of Radiohead's "Just" is pretty good. I'm bummed that there's an exclusion of emcees on this (save for an Ol' Dirty vocal clip), but maybe Ronson will come around once Rhymefest bitch slaps him for hanging out with permanently drunk British broads.

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