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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what you might expect from Mark Ronson - but good nonetheless
It's great to see such progression; Mark Ronson's last album was a reasonable DJ's effort to corral in some Hip-Hop egos and cliches, but Version shows a musical and artistic maturity and growth that is heartening to hear.

Although best known as a DJ, Ronson pulls in some big band sounds with real horns, strings and percussion creating an expansive soundstage...
Published on 12 April 2007 by PB

versus
22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe a word
I admit it, I bought this after reading the hype in the highbrow press. It was a mistake. This album does not in any way add to the original songs - it actually subtracts something - joyful creativity mostly. And believe the other reviewers too - all the tracks do sound the same - artificial, over-busy and over-compressed. It might sound OK as a 15 second TV advert...
Published on 20 Dec 2007 by Black Box


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what you might expect from Mark Ronson - but good nonetheless, 12 April 2007
By 
PB (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
It's great to see such progression; Mark Ronson's last album was a reasonable DJ's effort to corral in some Hip-Hop egos and cliches, but Version shows a musical and artistic maturity and growth that is heartening to hear.

Although best known as a DJ, Ronson pulls in some big band sounds with real horns, strings and percussion creating an expansive soundstage for the singers to really play on. Don't worry, though - there is still a fair amount of turntablism and rhythm-nous to keep these tracks rocking.

All of the songs lend themselves very well to this treatment, coming largely from the 60s-inspired BritPop era. The only bum note in the album is Lily Allen, but that may just be my personal prejudice against her. Amy Winehouse, Robbie Williams and Kasabian all pull off some very engaging tracks. I think my favourite track has to be the cover of "Just" (originally by Radiohead from the amazing "The Bends" album) - it's incredibly ambitious to take on such an iconic song, but to actually make something vastly different and equally good deserves huge praise. "Toxic" (yes, the Britney Spears track) also gets a superb makeover, despite ODB's somewhat jarring cameo.

All in all, a very worthy album and a fine purchase.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put a smile on my face!, 3 Aug 2007
This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
Well, I might as well chime in with the same start to my reviews as others have:

I bought this album based on the opening Coldplay remix, God Put A Smile Upon Your Face (feat. The Daptone Horns). This is without a doubt the best opening track to any album I own, and I have quite a few. I flicked through the others but none of them seemed to have the immediate upbeat, get up, energetic tempo that the first track provides.

So, a few listens of the first track on the way to France was all I gave it. On the way back however I got stuck in a three hour traffic jam on the M25 and out of sheer boredom I let the album run. How glad am I that I did?

The Lilly Allen remix was cheerful and pleasant then I got to the ODB version of Toxic. I was sat in the traffic jam in hysterics. I had no idea what was coming and could barely believe it. I listened to it again four times and was so amused and impressed. From that point on I was hooked. The album played out and with the exception of Pretty Green (I just find the singing so annoying) I could listen to, and have listened to the tracks a hundred times over and more.

Absolute favourite is Diversion leading into Kasabians L.S.F. This to me is audio perfection. I can listen to it when I'm happy, annoyed, at the gym, at home relaxing. It's really that good. At least to me.

Yes there are a lot of horns on the album (no doubt from the other reviews you'll have gathered this!) however if you think that's all he's done then you're not listening closely enough. There is a lot of detail gone in and indeed as one other reviewer said - he's taken some great, great songs (like Radiohead's' Just) and made them even better.

Of course, if horns aren't your thing then maybe best to look elsewhere, but do yourself a favour and give it at least one listen. What's the worst that can happen...?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting spin on a variety of songs, 6 Oct 2007
By 
Ray Blake (Hemel Hempstead, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
It's a diverse range of material that Ronson has collected together to give the 'wall of horns' treatment to. And for the most part, the conversions work very well.

The only tracks which stop this being a 5 star review are 'The Only One I Know' and 'Stop Me'. I've no objection to people singing a song differently from the original artist; indeed, a cover version which is just the same as the original is pointless. But with these two covers, the vocalist just doesn't seem to 'get' the song. When it was all over the radio, 'Stop Me' really frustrated me because it only really works as a wryly humorous song and it is sung here without any humour. Paradoxically, Robbie Williams (who murders 'The Only One I Know') might have pulled it off.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good purchase, just not consistent enough, 5 Jun 2007
By 
D. T. GREEN "dtgreen" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
I too bought this on the back of "Stop Me". I had been so out of touch with the charts, the track really caught my attention in the garden one (remarkably sunny) afternoon so I had a quick look at the track list and went ahead about purchased.

For me, there are probably 5 tracks that carry the album and the rest are...well frankly they are a bit obscure and "so so". The first three are brilliant, and Winehouse does a good job on Valerie. Contrary to a lot of public opinion I think the Robbie cover is actually decent, this album is purposefully produced as a novelty therefore 'Only One I Know' shouldn't be taken too seriously; I hear the Robbie FanGrrls love it.

It gets a 4/5 for tracks 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10...but I'm often only loading them into my Winamp playlist and ignoring the rest unfortunately.

If Ronson had waited a while and produced something with say, 12 out of the 14 tracks featuring a big name with a familiar tune then it would of been candidate for "Covers Album of the Year".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The man's done good, 6 Mar 2008
By 
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This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
With his smug smirk, his quirky accent (not quite British, not quite east coast American) and his irritating habit of dropping celebrity names into every interview I've certainly seen of him, Mark Ronson is a man I've found difficult to like.

But the producer & DJ to the stars (he played at Tom Cruise's wedding, apparently) makes darn good music, there's no running away from that. He was responsible for half of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black", produced a track on Lily Allen's "Alright, Still" and a track on Adele's "19", which I'm really getting into at the moment.

On this album - a selection of cover versions - he displays an incredible talent for musical reinterpretation. I've been resisting this album ever since it came out but eventually caved in. I'm so glad I did. I feel like I already own it anyway, as I know all the singles he's released from it so far (from the radio) and really love the innovative and thought provoking videos he put out to promote them.

The man is certainly eclectic, going over tunes by the likes of The Zutons, Coldplay, Radiohead, The Jam, Britney Spears, Kaiser Chiefs and Kasabian, just to name a few, and reinterpreting their music in ways that I personally find very difficult to categorise. It's good stuff though; modern with a hint of retro with some banging beats. My favourites include "Stop Me" featuring Daniel Merriweather, "Valerie" featuring Amy Winehouse and "Oh My God" featuring Lily Allen. They all sound much better on my system at home than they did on the radio or on MTV Base. His version of Coldplay's "God Put A Smile On Your Face" featuring The Daptone Horns (Ronson definitely loves his horns) is also really cool and currently being used on practically every reality/factual TV programme here, or so it seems, and I also enjoy "Amy" featuring Kenna and "LSF" featuring Kasabian. I thought I'd like "The Only One I Know" featuring Robbie Williams (Ronson is reported to be working on Williams' forthcoming album) but I didn't, no matter how hard I tried to. His version of Britney Spears' "Toxic" featuring Tiggers (and O.D.B.) is certainly hysterical if nothing else and I'm just starting to like his new single "Just", the old Radiohead song, which on here, features Phantom Planet.

The man's done good and has had a very good run. "Stop Me" made it to #2 on the UK Top 40, he won a producer of the year 2008 Grammy the other day for producing his portion of "Back To Black" and won best male 2008 Brit Award - the first time the award has been given to someone who didn't actually sing on the winning album - and "Valerie", which also made it to #2, is currently the longest reigning single in the UK Top 40. It's been there for 32 weeks and currently stands at #13. I think we'll be seeing and hearing more of Ronson in the years to come. I'm sure he'll grow on me eventually ;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album, 6 Nov 2008
By 
chuckles "barnie884" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
This album should just not work..... but it does. I had the same feeling when the Scissor Sisters covered one of my all time favourites... Comfortably Numb, I wanted to hate it, but the version was so good I couldn't. The one track I dont like is Pretty Green, but apart from that I loved the originals of these tracks and in some cases I like the covers even more. The highlight (not the obvious Amy Winehouse track) is Stop me, how you can merge the Smiths into 90's dance music, I dont know?..... Mark Ronson does!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Horny, 25 April 2007
By 
Toby Clayton "T.Clayton" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
Think Horns. No-one uses horns like ronson! The first track, an instrumental version of Coldplay's 'God put a smile upon your face' is superb with a lot of horns. Ronson creates such a quality sound on every track and although he's not an artist as such, he certainly has his own recognisable style. This is a damn good album, though not great and not without its downsides. 'Toxic' was a real let down for me, the vocals are annoying and the raps from ODB are not his best and don't suit the style. 'Pretty Green' is also poor in my opinion with a horrible vocal that really gets on my nerves. However, tracks like 'Apply some pressure' and 'Amy' are just brilliant and 'Oh my god' and 'Valerie' are two of the best covers you'll ever hear. Ronson rightly gives credit to the originators of these songs, but his part is played at a level of real quality.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it., 19 Jun 2007
This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
I like this album a lot, especially the jazzy pieces - Inversion is my favourite track - but am I the only one who doesn't recognise more than half of the songs? The takes on Valerie (which is belted out by Amy Winehouse with a brassy backing) and Toxic (which is turned into a slow-paced, laid-back and vaguely creepy track) are very, very interesting, and I can't help wishing that Ronson had chosen more tracks that people know. That way, I'd appreciate the cleverness and originality of the whole thing.

But that aside, this is an interesting album, although the combination of instruments is a little loud and wearing at times. I like it, and I listen to it a lot - mind you, I deleted Pretty Green from my iPod because I was sick of skipping it every time...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD!, 4 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
Just had to buy it once I'd heard it at a friend's house. Funky, jazzy, varied & upbeat - brilliant!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great., 6 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Version (Audio CD)
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