The ability to create tracks that fit the artist perfectly whilst bringing a fresh feel is something truly unique to Mark Ronson and his newest album clearly harvests this. Featuring an abundance of female vocal talent alongside Ronson’s funk touch, the album is exciting, clean, current pop. If you had to purchase one new pop album this summer, this one is a wonderful choice, almost like a greatest hits of summer 2019 thanks to Ronson’s versatility.
The title ‘Late Night Feelings’ relates to Ronson’s description of the album being composed of ‘sad bangers’. We first saw ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ with Miley Cyrus which matched this definition entirely. This track encompasses Ronson’s desire to create music that you can dance to but also feel to. A unique track to the album compromising dance and country music in a wonderful mix.
The list of vocalists on this album has an enormously high level of talent ranging from the charm of Cyrus, Lykee Li, King Princess, Angel Olsen and Camilla Cabello, each bringing their own sound in harmony with Ronson’s neo-funk.
The album opens with a warm-up to the incredibly catchy ‘Late Night Feelings’ featuring Swedish vocalist Lykee Li (who had a break through dance track ‘I’ll Follow You’ in 2011). Her soothing vocals glide effortlessly over Ronson’s punchy funk drums and bass. There’s a reason this one was made the title track, it’s a legendary pop hit. Obsessed.
Camilla Cabello (who made fame in Fifth Harmony) launches into ‘Find You Again’ a song that could easily get lost in today’s charts: catchy vocals over bass-y offbeats. King Princess (signed to Ronson’s Zelig) follows with her time to shine, her track not a million miles from Cabello’s but perhaps with a funkier twist and sassier vocals. KP’s ‘Pieces of Us’ gives off major 80s synth pop vibes yet still having a very neo-funk feel. King Princess’s key highlights are more likely to be found on her own EPs, such as ‘1950’ which is definitely worth checking out. This collaboration was slightly disappointing with Ronson and KP as such good mates with her being signed to his label I expected more.
YEBBA features heavily in the album, her voice ranging from aggressive grunts to elegant cries of harmony. She made her initial mark on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Best Part Of Me’, following her success she has had the opportunity with Ronson to showcase her full talent, which is no short of wonderful range. In Ronson’s album she breaks through with ‘Knock Knock Knock’ and it’s electric punchy soul vocals. Each track with YEBBA varies massively and fit the album perfectly.
The next track, ‘Truth’ is certainly a highlight of the album with vocals from Alicia Keys, the Last Artful, Dodgr This song reflects Jay-Z’s legendary ‘Empire State of Mind’ with its drum line, piano riffs and Alicia’s smooth vocals. The fact the album features Alicia Keys is a blessing and Ronson has certainly used to this to his full potential. A great track for the summer.
Angel Olsen’s ‘True Blue’ stands out as the biggest ‘sad banger’ on the album. It opens with Olsen’s iconic hails with a vintage tuner before breaking out into its moody pop follow up. Ronson has mentioned how he couldn’t stop listening to Olsen’s ‘My Woman’ yet this track has an entirely different take on her unique indie-folk rock sound. Having listened to Olsen’s most recent track ‘All Mirrors’ perhaps this track was the start of a different direction for the singer.
The album closes with a soul inspired track with Diana Gordon, Ilsey’s modern electric take of ‘Late Night Feelings’ and a calming acoustic closing track from Lykee Li. The album does appear to slowly fade out with the biggest hits featuring earlier in the album.
Overall, Ronson has managed to bring forward some of the greatest female voices in current pop whilst adding his signature funk feel. The albums definitely worth a listen, even if you’re an ‘Uptown Funk’ hater.
Written by Tilda Gratton