Reviewing the Billboard Hot 100: “Uptown Funk” — Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars


PREVIOUS NO. 1: “Blank Space” — Taylor Swift

WHAT’S THE SONG’S DEAL?: Mark Ronson’s been in the production racket for a while, being one of the mastermind’s behind Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” a shamelessy catchy Police-esque cut as Bruno begs his missus for more sex. Calling this song Police-esque requires you to drink, because just about everyone labeled it as such — even Mars. Dude was beating the drum on it when it was decided that it. in fact, was Stingy. But per one really, really, really rad video that could not be found broke down Ronson’s entire musical background and how the Brit’s a musical savant who loves everything — look at his discography. Ronson is another hitmaker with a slightly bigger profile than the Swedish sensation, except instead of looking forward for the new sound, Ronson isn’t afraid to dig back through pop history to resurrect something that’s good.

Take our song here. It delivers on its promise to funk you up via uptown funk giving it to you. The first thing that leapt to mind when hearing the horns’ interplay with the synth was TMHMBT favorite Morris Day and the MOTHERFUCKING TIME! The hook is so similar that I hope the incomparable Jerome jumps int he music video to toss Bruno Mars in a dumpster. My funk knowledge is far from the greatest, but the lines back to that period, in addition to, assuredly, a slew of number groups is merely Ronson flexing his music knowledge.

The song isn’t without its modernness, though, speeding up to the hook with hints of a typical build-up in fast-paced dance-type tracks. Without it, the cut’s period of origin would be hard to pin down. With that slight movement under the drums, it’s squarely now.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 5.08.25 PM

D.M.C. imposter.

MUSIC VIDEO: This is just weird. It’s on a backlot, clearly, if Sesame Street had a dash of New York sitcom or Spike Lee’s Brooklyn in Do The Right Thing. The thing to dislike most is Mark Ronson’s limited involvement — which makes sense, to a degree, as he’s more or less pop’s Calvin Harris, making songs and grabbing whomever to lay down some vocals. But Mark’s usually in a leather jacket, sunglasses, pseudo-Joe Jackson white kicks and a perfectly coiffed do. How is he is supposed to get any recognition with that style and being shown less than the D.M.C. imposter. The shot with Bruno and Ronson in the salon is tremendous, though, and should head toward the National Portrait Gallery saddled up to No. 44.

PROJECTED LASTING POWER: Not really my jam, so this could be clouded by present biases, but more than three weeks would disappoint and cause some heads to shake. Get right, America. (UPDATE: I was happily wrong.)

FAVORITE HOT 100 SONG OF 2015?: Well, given that we’re at just two No. 1 overall joints, “Blank Space” is my pick. Despite all Taylor’s rage, I’m still just a rat in her cage (or something).


Will is on Twitter here. Give a petty follow.

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