Everything breaks like a heart
It’s hard not to be a Mark Ronson fan. As producers go, there are arguably bigger names (Sir George Martin or pre-murder Phil Spector in the old days, Quincy Jones or Dr Dre in the less old days), but a) he’s managed to carve out an impressive, essentially spotless resume to date, b) he’s still pretty young. Meaning he can go along for quite a while like this, seeing as his most recent output is very much on par with his earlier work and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Said earlier work includes Lily Allen’s debut album and Amy Winehouse’s groundbreaking second album. His more recent stuff, meanwhile, includes Bruno Mars’ instant classic “Uptown funk” and Lady Gaga’s oscar-winning “Shallow”. These two songs alone show the breadth of his creativity: RnB, pop, funk, rock, hip hop… he seems at ease in all those styles, seamlessly crafting catchy yet subtle tracks along the way. And he’s got side gigs too: he keeps on DJ’ing, as well as releasing more personal records.
Such is the case with the new Late night feelings, quite obviously a maturity album. Based on a mix of personal struggles (see: divorce) and somewhat disheartening daily news cycles (see: Donald Trump, Brexit, etc), he offers a sadder collection of songs, although they remain quite funky because he just can’t help inside. What he calls “sad bangers”, a fairly apt description.
My particular point of focus here is the first single that came out of the album, featuring pop princess Miley Cyrus in a project you’ve never seen her in before: a country-infused dance-pop track that still manages to be rather bare, highlighting a beautiful strings section… and Cyrus’ incredibly fitting voice. Suddenly, she doesn’t sound like the wrecking ball girl anymore, but like the seasoned, subtle performer she is slowly becoming.
“Nothing breaks like a heart” may not be the best song either of them has produced to date, but it sure is a stop in a new direction for both. And, dare I say, an exciting one. Keep on breakin’…