Royal Reviews: Album Review ‘Uptown Special’

 

Mark Ronson’s new album “Uptown Special,” released Jan. 12, features Ronson’s vocals along with many other artists including Stevie Wonder, Andrew Wyatt, Kevin Parker, Mystikal, Bruno Mars and Jeff Bhasker. Many elements of James Brown and Michael Jackson can be heard if one listens closely to the album tracks.

On the song “Uptown Funk,” Mars lends his vocals alongside the saxophones during the chorus that are reminiscent to Michael Jackson’s “Jam.”

Review by Signe Trewyn, Staff Writer
Review by Signe Trewyn, Staff Writer

Like that song, “Uptown Funk” demands to be heard and appreciated. Essentially, the song builds up to an energetic chorus that drives the listener to the dance floor. This is for sure my favorite track on the whole
album, not because it is the most popular track, but because it’s easy to dance to and fun to listen to also. My favorite line is when Mars sings “Don’t believe me just watch” right before the horn part of the song.

Similar to “Uptown Funk” the song “Uptown’s First Finale” features vocals from Stevie Wonder, and it happens to be the first track on the album. It acts as an anthem for the funky nature of the entire album. It features many different sounds which made it interesting to listen to.

“I Can’t Lose” features Keyone Starr, a female vocalist who takes over the fast-paced track. This song focuses on a guitar and horns similar to “Uptown Funk” in the chorus. The horns in this song are quite high pitched, but despite that, this track appeals to my ears. Starr’s voice fits nicely and gives the song a 1970s Michael Jackson vibe.

“In Case of Fire” features Jeff Bhasker, and is another one of my favorite tracks. For a few seconds in the beginning of the track, it sounds like a pop song that lacks some of the funk of the rest of the album. The funkiness returns during the chorus. A guitar-like sound presents itself in the chorus of the song which makes it one of the tracks that I specifically like. Overall, the song sounds quite smooth and there are no sharp edges as the track winds down.

“Leaving Los Feliz” is another song I enjoyed listening to purely because of the distinctiveness of it. Kevin Parker is featured on the track and his voice blends along with all the unique sounds on the track. It is one of my favorites due to the fact that it features Spanish words in the title and throughout the entire song; it makes the track feel
international.

When I first heard about this album, the only song I knew was “Uptown Funk” because of Bruno Mars’ popularity. Once I saw that Stevie Wonder was singing on the album, too, I decided I had to buy it.

Young and old listeners will relish this album for its funky sound and for the amount of talented artists who are featured on the album.

4.5 stars out of 5.

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