Mark Ronson feat. Daniel Merryweather - Stop Me
Tim Miller 02/04/2007
I suspect that just about everyone who reads this review will have heard this one before, or at least know that the song's full title when it was originally recorded was 'Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before'. By, obviously, The Smiths, who are, in my opinion, one of those bands that you just don't cover. Hundred Reasons' woefully weak version of 'How Soon Is Now?' is testament to that.
However, the standard advice on having a decent stab at a cover is to make a song your own, and while Mark Ronson was never going to actually better a Smiths track - the very idea! - he certainly goes about this single in the right way. Instead of trying to get as close to the original as possible and risk falling hopelessly into pastiche… yep, Hundred Reasons again…Ronson casts a richly-gifted new vocalist, Daniel Merryweather, in the role of Morrissey, recreates Johnny Marr's guitar sounds with plush, warm strings, and sticks a strong drum track underneath to really hammer home the original brilliance of this song in all its glory.
This is to say nothing of the outro, which incorporates The Supreme's 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' nicely, or the blasts of brass that punctuate each break, or the heartfelt harmonies which draw attention to the astonishing talent of Merryweather's voice. Ronson, who before now has produced some outstanding music and has now taken the plunge into fronting his work, has truly brought The Smiths into the 21st century. While even the best imitations of greatness remain just that, imitations, this take on a Smiths giant is a modern soul masterpiece in the way Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy was. That Morrissey himself has admitted to liking this song should be enough for anyone to grudgingly acknowledge how good this single is.
Mark Ronson online