Release Date: Jun 12, 2007
Record label: RCA
Review Summary: Ronson strips pop tracks of their rock instruments and rebuilds them brilliantly with hip hop beats and upbeat Motown arrangementsWhat’s this? He’s covered Radiohead and actually improved upon the original? It’s just not done!London-born DJ Mark Ronson’s take on ‘Just,’ the classic cut from 1995’s The Bends, recasts the sludgy, introverted original as an abrasive party track, enlisting the vocal talents of Phantom Planet frontman Alex Greenwald, one of a dozen or so guest singers on his new album Version. Beneath a bed of break beats, hand claps and a rigid Stax-like horn section, Greenwald does his best Matt Bellamy impression in what has got to be (unintentionally?) one of the best musical in-jokes I’ve heard in years. Greenwald’s double-tracked vocal weaves in and out of itself and the Meters-like funky guitar parts while the arrangement, though rooted in soul and early hip hop, captures the Radiohead ethos perfectly, reorganising and renewing itself constantly with the addition of new melodic and instrumental ideas.