Sometimes wrong can feel so right. Take prime '60s Motown session players the Funk Brothers. They forged classic signatures by applying self-taught idiosyncrasies, eventually making them recording standards. Transatlantic producer Mark Ronson yearns to express his inner Funk Brothers by doing what many would consider wrong: covering Britney Spears, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, Maxïmo Park and more, Northern-soul-style. And, remarkably, it mostly works.
Stomper highlights include Coldplay's "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" perked up by the Daptone Horns, the Smiths/Supremes interpolation "Stop Me," the Zutons' "Valerie" sung by Ronson pal Amy Winehouse, Radiohead's "Just," and Kenna taking on Ryan Adams' "Amy." The Jam's "Pretty Green" becomes a schoolyard chant but falls short of how the Go! Team could execute the concept. And the Charlatans' "The Only One I Know" helmed by Robbie Williams loses something once tightened beyond its diffused origins. But overall this admittedly Anglophile-centric collection eases into sweat-beaded summer's swing just right. 3 stars