Mark Ronson, Uptown Special

Get your friends together and groove because it's a funk party throwback album in 20-freaking-15, and all Ronson's buddies are coming here to jam. Sure, you have Bruno Mars and the chart topper "Uptown Funk," and it's so fun and fresh you can almost forgive the heavy rotation it gets. And yes, two Stevie Wonder artsy-fartsy bookend collabs smacks of stunt casting, and the callback in "Crack in the Pearl" was unnecessary. (Plus: Mystikal on "Feel Right" needs to chill the heck out.) But for as plastic and commercial as the production comes off, the Kevin Parker tracks ("Summer Breaking," the unironic use of the word isosceles in "Daffodils," and especially the gauzy, glittery edges of "Leaving Los Feliz") have real emotional heft to them, and "In Case of Fire" and "Heavy and Rolling" run silly, smooth and sparkly in suitable measure. Not consistent enough ("I Can't Lose" - oh really?) nor long enough to win that fifth star, but he certainly didn't send his guest performers home in the morning with nothing to show for it. (Content: F- and N-bombs on "Feel Right," mild expletives on "Uptown Funk," drug references in "Leaving Los Feliz.")