Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Song: Shameless
Artist: Bryan Ferry
Album: Olympia

I still haven't been able to connect completely with Bryan Ferry, nor his celebrated 70's/80's band Roxy Music.  Save for a few singles here and there I just didn't quite get it.  Despite getting a Roxy Music best of that I liked, I didn't go further, nor delve into Ferry's solo work.  But there was a rumor that he was reuiniting the band for their first album since 1982's "Avalon," but alas, despite many Roxy Music members working on the album, it's credited to Bryan Ferry.

"Olympia," his 13th solo record, was just released last month and is garnering some pretty solid reviews.  He has worked with many varied collaborators on this album, including Groove Armada, David Stewart, David Gilmour, Nile Rodgers, Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, and the Scissor Sisters, which had me the most interested.

Ferry's music has always been described as "art rock," a genre I find a little dubious and a bit too open.  I know when I listened to Roxy Music, I kept thinking of Talking Heads (possibly the Brian Eno connection) who also have been put under this banner.  For me, and specifically thinking of "Olympia," I hear "lush" and "adult," which I suppose is just as (non)descriptive as "art rock."  So, whatever.

While I haven't really grabbed on to "Olympia" completely, there is something about it; a style, mystery, and sweeping majesty that really can't be denied.  Ferry has always been a suave character and there is no denying that sexy voice.  Opener, and first single, "You Can Dance" is quite enchanting and mysterious, I like it... of course hearing the Fred Falke remix, found on the deluxe edition of the album really got me going.  But this is a very cool track.  "Heartache by Numbers," the track co-written by the Scissor Sisters is also very good, though I don't necessarily hear them at all.  It's very Ferry, bold, dramatic, and cinematic... which is really the best word to describe the entire venture.  My favorite track on the album is the "Shameless," the Groove Armada assisted track.  I hear the band in the music, and yet the song is very Ferry.  I also like the Leonard Cohen-esque "BF Bass (Ode to Olympia)" with cooing female back-up singers... they sort of don't write 'em like that anymore.

If you're a fan I think there is a lot to enjoy from "Olympia."  Check it out.



You Can Dance (check out this video for all you need to know about Ferry!)

Heartache by Numbers

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