Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bryan Ferry Revisits His Roots

Bryan Ferry
Produced by Bryan Ferry
and Rhett Davies
BMG Music
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

As interesting and fun as Bryan Ferry's last album (2013's The Jazz Era) where he and his orchestra re-imagined instrumentally his solo and Roxy Music work in the style of a 1920's Jazz Band, his fans were very anxious for him to get back to making new music.  And to hear his voice again.

He accomplishes both on a new solo album, his 15th, out on Tuesday (Nov. 18) entitled Avonmore.

This album includes eight original songs and two covers.

The first thing you realize after a first listen of Avonmore is that his unique, distinctive and stylish voice is better than ever.  Not too many guys and gals that reach the age of 69 and are five decades into a stellar career can claim that.

Additionally, it is quite clear that from the opening tracks "Loop De Li" and "Midnight Train" and "One Night Stand", Ferry is returning to the style of his earlier success.  In Bryan Ferry's case that is a very good and welcoming thing.

These songs, bringing the distinctive funky groove tracks prevalent in Roxy Music and Ferry's earlier solo work, evoke memories of such classics as "Love Is The Drug" and "Kiss and Tell".

"Midnight Train" also combines '70s soul and blues imagery in the lyrics.

"Lost," is very reminiscent of the dreamy Roxy Music hit from the early 80's "Avalon."

Lyrically, Ferry is still a romantic at heart.  This is evident in the songs "Avonmore" and "Soldier of Fortune."

Avonmore's two covers, saved for the final last two tracks, are wonderful.

Ferry sings a unique and stylistic version of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns," and slows down the late Robert Palmer's "Johnny and Mary". Ferry really brings out the feelings of sadness and melancholy that were missing in Palmer's uptempo original.

The latter gets an assist from Norwegian DJ and Producer Todd Terje.

Ferry has an impressive cast for this album.  Actually the usual suspects.  Avonmore is co-produced by Rhett Davies, who's been working with Ferry and Brian Eno since the 1970s.

Guests include Mark Knopfler, Johnny Marr (who helped pen "Soldier of Fortune"), Flea, Ronnie Spector, Maceo Parker and Nile Rodgers.

This new album is a must listen for those long time fans of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, but also is a great introduction for new fans.

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