Bryan Ferry: Olympia - review

(Virgin)

Ferry's professed new sense of urgency since brushing with death in an aeroplane incident in 2000 hasn't produced too many new songs. Olympia is only the Roxy Music singer's second set of new material since 1994. However, he's busily assembled an all-star supporting cast – guitarists Nile Rodgers, Jonny Greenwood and Dave Gilmour, Mani and Flea on bass, and most of Roxy, including Brian Eno. With Kate Moss the latest cover goddess, and everything polished to aural perfection, Olympia follows Ferry's usual post-Roxy oeuvre: sophisticated, subtle disco grooves that find the singer looking for love in a looking-glass world and having his heart broken by femme fatales. In reality, Ferry is currently squiring a girl 35 years his junior, which doesn't stop Alphaville and Scissor Sisters' collaboration Heartache By Numbers taking convincingly lonely whirls around life's existential dancefloor. Tim Buckley's Song to the Siren (featuring 22 musicians) sounds over-egged and the wailing BF Bass just dated, but the confessional Tender Is the Night – a haunted vocal and Steve Nieve's desolate piano – is classic Ferry.

Contributor

Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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