Crack In the Pearl, Pt. II
The producer scored his first No. 1 hit with "Uptown Funk," and while Bruno Mars deserves credit, Ronson's appropriation of The Time, Zapp and other '80s R&B acts helped give the song a distinctive retro/future flair. "Uptown Funk" proves a blueprint for the album proper, one big traipse through vintage sounds -- Stevie Wonder's harmonica, Mystikal on a Famous Flames tip, broad homages to The Police and T. Rex. With lyrical contributions from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon and vocals from Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, this is the cross-cultural party jam you didn't know you needed.