Close to a year ago, Bruno Mars appeared at the Super Bowl half-time show, sharing the stage with Red Hot Chili Peppers. Although he had already released two platinum albums by then, It was still incredible to see Bruno Mars delivering a live show the way he did, making everyone in the stadium (even the beer-belly’ed, face-painted, die-hard football fans) forget temporarily that there was a second half of the game left to play. Well, with the help of UK’s finest DJ producer, Mark Ronson, Bruno certainly has blown us all away, yet again.

This impossibly sexy new single, Uptown Funk, is crowning to be Song of the Winter (heck, maybe even Song of the Year). But the album, where Bruno’s single has found a comfortable home, is of no less prestige and merit. The album, ladies and gentleman, is called Uptown Special, and it would certainly become a regretful shame of your 2010’s memories if you don’t, at the very least, swing your hips to a couple of tracks from it.

From start to finish, Uptown Special offers a hugely fresh alternative to what we’ve come to expect from the music industry in the last few years, where Ronson has clearly learned from his success with Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” album in 2006: people love the retro sound. Uptown Special doesn’t settle in any era of music, nor does it need to snuggle-up to any particular genre. Verse by verse, it is constantly pushing your acceptance of different sounds; track by track, it never stops to challenge your knowledge in a multitude of genres and leaves you banging your head on the amplifier trying to figure out where you have heard that hook, or this baseline. Like a good book or a great film, the album is worth multiple run-throughs. And in the same way, music lovers from different genres will find endless exciting occasions of “Oh My God! I know that…!” peppered throughout the whole record.

In homage of Mark Ronson’s love of sampling and collaborating, let’s just wrap up this mini-review with Bruno Mars’ chorus hook by imploring, “Don’t believe me, just listen.”

Ps. For an in-depth look at Mark Ronson’s Updown Special, join DJ Joey on FM 100 @ 1pm for some more fun facts and listening pleasure.