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Literary Lyrics–Pop Goes Uptown

Ronson Chabon“Catch on fire above the green empire of the kraken / Flow with the isosceles to the beat of six knees knocking.” These lyrics may seem to have been unearthed from a triple-concept album dating back to the height of prog-rock, but you’ll find them on Mark Ronson’s new effort, Uptown Special, which was released Jan. 13. Its lead-off single, “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars, currently sits at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it’s something of a Trojan Horse: apart from it and a funk-tastic rave-up featuring rapper Mystikal, the album’s other nine tracks have words penned by … Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon.

Not that the lyrics are all so esoteric — the writer of The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union knows how to spin a yarn without losing readers — but as with every such collaboration, when authors pen lyrics for pop songs, something unusual happens. Here’s a look at how Uptown Special stacks up against some of its more notable predecessors.

— Story continues at The National Post


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