Album Review: Mark Ronson – Late Night Feelings

21 June 2019 | 10:54 am | James d'Apice

"There’s a lot of fun to be had here."

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It’s easy to be cynical about Mark Ronson. Few enjoy success at the level he has and maintain a reputation for relevance. That kind of cynicism is misplaced though. There’s a lot of fun to be had here.

Opener Late Night Prelude could only have been made by someone who loved '90s rap and its '00s mutation. Even though it’s a mere tidbit, the opener sends a shining message: if Ronson’s sold out, then he’s still clung onto something of himself. This foundation means that jams like Find U Again, easily dismissed as insubstantial, have context. Truth is straight flames. Nothing Breaks Like A Heart is a country-inflected disco dirge. Pieces Of Us is perhaps the record’s greatest triumph, regardless of whether Ronson has taken something familiar and made it new, or taken something new and made it feel familiar. It’s stunning and – if you’re after a serene, searing pop experience – moving.

Earnestness is uncool. Liking popular stuff is intellectually bankrupt. Irony reigns supreme. Accepting those points of view and ignoring this record would be a mistake. More important: it would deny you some glittering gems. Well worth a peep.