Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. ft. Q-Tip & MNDR - 'Bang Bang Bang'
Look at that blog title! Ridiculously long, isn't it? Just an endless list of artist names and a word which does not need to be repeated three times to get its point across. It's just messy. What kind of buffoon makes himself a brand name, adds a band name to the brand name, and then lists the guest vocalists involved in his band's song? What is he trying to do, fill up the internet?
Oh wait, the kind of buffoon who has just made a remarkable record and wants to make sure everyone gets full and equal credit, because he knows it's good, and he's a humble man and anyway he's not jamming everyone into a cartoon concept like Gorillaz (no matter how good a cartoon concept Gorillaz may be).
That kind of a buffoon? Yeah.
(Here's the video. Ronsformers: pop stars in disguise.)
And it is a remarkable record. Funky as hell, but still moving. Immediate, and still a bit of a grower. Thoughtful lyrically, but kinda silly with it - and partially French, for extra je ne sais quoi. Relatively anonymous on first listen, especially to anyone expecting trumpets, but boasting the lizardy throat of Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most distinctive rap voices since Flavor Flav found a novel way to make sure he stopped being late for meetings.
(This is an amazing old school hip hop joke, by the way. The only reason you're not ROFLing right now is because you're not properly old school. Box-fresh, perhaps, but that is all.)
It's a perfect summation of Mark Ronson as a person, now I come to think about it. Someone who is equally comfortable with reserved, expressive European harmonic tradition (and indie music) as American funk. He even said as much, claiming to want to make this record a mix of Van Halen (the synths from 'Jump', not the widdly-widdly guitar) and the Meters.
And he gets extra points for the bit where he slips a little delay under Q-Tip just for the bit where he is rapping about living the "bon (bon) vie", so that it sounds a little like he's beatboxing. That's how you get your name at the top of the bill, producers!
Popped Music says: "I love the little hints of French in this, and the keyboard synths."
Scout Daily says: "It's hard to pinpoint Ronson's exact role among the apparently huge cast."
Female First says: "It's the kind of explosion you'll be more than happy to stand next to when it goes off."