Musicality – Mark Ronson, K. Michelle, Ricky Martin, Meghan Trainor

Mark Ronson
Uptown Special
(Columbia)
This is a wonderful album orchestrated by Mark Ronson, the talented producer and songwriter. Fun and funky, it features a variety of artists, including Stevie Wonder. The track “Uptown Funk” is addictive and highlights all the best aspects of its vocalist, Bruno Mars. It’s the perfect choice to put someone in a good mood. Ronson uses classic elements of composition, making the songs sound both nostalgic and refreshing. The song “Summer Breaking” sounds like it came straight from the ’70s. Ronson has produced albums for Adele and Amy Winehouse, and this album really showcases the wide appeal that his work can have. Really, fans of any musical genre will love this whole CD. My favorite tracks are “Crack in the Pearl,” “Feel Right,” and “Daffodils.”

K. Michelle
Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart
(Atlantic)
Right at the first track, “Judge Me,” I was hooked. I hadn’t dabbled in any K. Michelle music before and mostly knew her as a VH1 star, but I found that she is actually very talented. She belts it out like her life depends on it, and her voice is absolutely stunning and addictive. Even if you’re not a fan of rhythm and blues or hip hop, you cannot doubt her vocal talent. She makes the switches between high and low notes seem effortless. The album as a whole is soothing and filled with passionate and honest vocals. My favorites songs are, “Love’em All,” “Maybe I Should Call,” and “Going Under.”
Ricky Martin
“Disparo Al Corazon” (single)
(Sony Music Latin)
You don’t need to know Spanish to enjoy this beautiful song from Ricky Martin. This is the second single released from his 10th album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar (To Those Who Want to Listen), which comes out Feb. 10. The title of this deep and honest single translates to “Shot to the Heart,” and it has a slight country feel in the background. This, mixed in with the subtle, haunting violin and Martin’s worldly voice, really makes the melody unforgettable. Martin’s tone of voice speaks volumes. I can’t wait to hear the full-length album. Don’t let the language barrier keep you from enjoying a wonderful song.

Meghan Trainor
Title
(Epic)
Meghan Trainor is the powerhouse voice behind the hit single “All About That Bass.” The radio has been projecting it into the airwaves with ferocity and somehow I have yet to be sick of the sassy song, which may or might not stand for something. The rest of the album has a similar feel — bubblegum pop with a zesty attitude. I sense a little bit of Taylor Swift influence, especially in the song “3am.” Although not every song is a win, there are plenty of great ones on this CD. The album is definitely worth it for pop lovers. My favorites are “Credit,” the title track appropriately named “Title,” and her follow-up single “Lips Are Movin’.”

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