Mark Ronson's production credits are those of a wizard; he's teamed up with Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and Adele on some of their best songs. On his fifth studio album, Late Night Feelings, he's roped in a roster of insanely talented female artists – Lykke Li, Angel Olsen and Alicia Keys included – to create a record that draws influence from former eras of pop; Ronson's formulas sometimes produce middling results, but by and large, Late Night Feelings offers a bounty of irresistible tunes.
The record starts strong with Lykke Li on Late Night Feelings, a relatively straight-forward pop tune that nonetheless showcases Li's charisma over an earworm of a chorus. (I have to add here that it reminded me strongly of Boycrush's Demi-pointes, a superior track from his 2018 album that plays with very similar themes). A Camila Cabello track passes without impact, but when King Princess shows up on Pieces of Us, Ronson finds his groove with gleaming synths and poignant slap-bass; King Princess delivers the song with a wonderful vulnerability.
The album's hat-trick starts with Truth, featuring Alicia Keys and The Last Artful, Dodgr; an effortlessly cool 70s funk track delivered with joy and style. The record's excellent Miley Cyrus single Nothing Breaks Like a Heart is next, followed by the incredible disco-glam track True Blue, which lets certified genius Angel Olsen show off her beautifully lovesick lyrics and vocals.
There's a dud here and there, with the weaker tracks suffering from a lack of imagination or variation. But Ronson's production and songwriting skills are brought to life by Late Night Feeling's stellar list of female artists, who outshine Ronson's dude-packed 2015 record Uptown Special in every way.
Mark Ronson, Late Night Feelings
Late Night Feelings
A glittering pop record strengthened by Ronson's collaborators