INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Sounds MARCH 24, 1973 - by Steve Peacock
FOR YOUR PLEASURE
First of all, this album is a vastly better album that Roxy's first - it has more of a sense of purpose, a solid base in the rhythm section of John Porter (bass) and Paul Thompson (drums), without losing some of the less straightforward aspects of their music that gave the first album its charm. Everyone plays better - Phil Manzanera's guitar playing throughout has a kind of subtle inventiveness and richness of idea that I wasn't aware of before.
Eno gets some nice things going. Andy Mackay blows a great deal of highly appropriate stuff, and sometimes - as on Strictly Confidential, Editions Of You, and Grey Lagoons - rises to excellence, and Bryan Ferry proves himself in his songwriting and, more especially, in his vocal styles to be, in the nicest possible way, poseur par excellence. Listen for instance to In Every Dream Home A Heartache, and see if it doesn't remind you of The Doors on their Strange Days album from the arrangement, the way it's kept subdued for a while, then breaks out into a heavy melodramatic section, fades out and fades in again with heavy phasing, right through to Ferry's croaking vocal. They're unexceptional devises in themselves, but conjure a heavy image of late '60s incense and bubbly light shows for me. Or he gets into, a kind of Elvis balladeering mood for something like Beauty Queen or Grey Lagoons, crooning with the best of them.
But it somehow leaves the front of the band with a figurehead rather than personality, and yet it isn't anonymous enough to avoid rather flat and same-ish texture to most of the album. This is really my only reservation about the album - that because Bryan takes so much of the front-line weight and he isn't quite the songwriter nor the singer to do that with complete success in a band as strong as this, For Your Pleasure is an album that I'll rarely play all the way through, playing it more as a collection of singles - a track or two at a time.
I can only hope that they draw more on the strength of collective individuality obvious on The Bogus Man in the future, and that maybe they'll spice the next album with songs from more than one writer. However entertaining, Bryan and The Roxettes is a waste of potential.