INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Record Collector DECEMBER 2010 - by Jason Draper
BRYAN FERRY: OLYMPIA
That ship's not sailed yet.
Back on the road with Roxy Music, Ferry's new solo album boasts the first studio work from a Ferry/Phil Manzanera/Andy Mackay/Brian Eno recording unit since 1973's For Your Pleasure. Perhaps unsurprisingly (and understandably), the reunion hasn't given way to anything remotely epochal as that album, but it appears to have re-lit a fire that seemed all but out with 2007's lacklustre Dylanesque.
Ferry himself is on amazingly good form, sounding three decades younger than his recently-reached retirement age. In thirty-eight years' worth of recording, he's become a master at creating atmospherics for his delicately trembling vocals to ride. When these get on the boisterous side, as on opener You Can Dance, we're almost back in prowling, sexual predator territory: guitars squalling over skittering rhythms and a snatched giggle on the outro. It gives over to Alphaville, Ferry now shacked up with a girl, "hungry for [her] lies". Perfectly noir, it seems the window shopper's still checking out the sales.
A collaboration with Groove Armada may not quite make the grade, while at times the atmospherics drift by a little too easy. At their most successfully delicate, however, they combine beautifully with Ferry's voice on a cover of Tim Buckley's Song To The Siren, proving that Ferry hasn't lost his gift for innovating interpretations.