Stepping from behind the turntables for his second solo set, Mark Ronson’s “Version” is a collection of club-friendly soul tunes that feels like a mixtape made by your older sibling’s coolest friend.
The DJ-turned-producer is renowned for hitmaking collaborations with Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse, both of whom return the favor here. Allen provides vocals for ‘Oh My God,’ while Winehouse performs a smoking cover of the Zutons’ ‘Valerie.’
However, that’s not the extent of Ronson’s little black book; British R&B singer Daniel Merriweather brings a Smiths/Supremes mash-up with ‘Stop Me,’ while Robbie Williams covers the Charlatan’s ‘Only One I Know.’ Other covers include Radiohead, Coldplay and Ryan Adams.
And for all of those interlopers, Ronson’s own musical identity shines through with his ability to transform contemporary rock tunes with Motown-style flourishes and hip-hop beats.
Released in Europe two months ago, the U.S. release revisits some cuts, including his take on the Britney Spears hit ‘Toxic;’ it now features a “lost” verse from the late rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard.