Thursday, November 29, 2012
Last Best Record Of 2012
Wacky career move or small slab of genius?
Sorry you purists, but I'm going for the latter.
My first reaction upon reading that the new Bryan Ferry album featured a collection of Roxy Music tunes reimagined as depression-era jazz instrumentals, was a painful, medulla-damaging eyeroll. But as a longtime fan of pre-Avalon Roxy, and the occasional Ferry solo album, I went in, benefits given to all doubts. Doubts that have been sitting firm in my memory thanks to Ferry's recent craplike reimaginings of Dylan tunes and the semi-snoozefest that was his last, "Olympia."
No matter how cynical you may be, it's hard to dismiss this record as anything but brilliant. You don't need to be a Roxy fan to enjoy this, especially if you love this type of jazz. But if you happen to be a fan of both, what Bryan Ferry and his bandmates have created here is something truly special.
Recorded to sound vintage, the arrangements might baffle those familiar with the material and looking for an easy entry into the melodies. It was a demanding listen at first, but once I caught on, I was not only pleasantly surprised, I was blown away.
I won't gush anymore. I will just say, this record has really made me happy.