Bryan Ferry — Olympia
Virgin Records, Rs. 495
There's something inviting about this album; may be it's just the mere name of the artiste for a fan such as me. For the album, Ferry has collaborated with David A. Stewart of Eurythmics, Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay of Roxy Music, Groove Armada, David Gilmour, Marcus Miller, Scissor Sisters, Nile Rodgers, Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, Steve Nieve, and Flea.
He's done covers, but these are nothing like what he's attempted before. The lead vocalist of Roxy Music has put together a stupendous sonic treat that opens with ‘You can dance', which is groove centric and makes for a solid start, setting the pace for what's to come. With a steady bass line, heavy drumming and menacingly floating guitar work, Ferry's vocals add magic to the track.
Pink Floyd's David Gilmour works his trademark lead guitar antics making ‘Alphaville', that you would keep replaying. Next up is ‘Heartache by Numbers', which features the Scissor Sisters with a cutting edge! There sure is that disco tangent to it but the anthemic piano intro makes it a Ferry classic all the same.
‘Me oh My' is a very smoothly textured synchronised number with the programmed hand claps, et al. However, chances are you might find it a tad corny given that the music and the lyrics don't quite go well together.
Kudos to Ferry for transforming Tim Buckley's already haunting ‘Song to the Siren' to the most beautiful synth-laced pop ballad. This is definitely among his best covers. Traffic's ‘No Face, No Name, No Number' isn't as good a cover; nonetheless, it makes for a decent listen.
‘BF Bass (Ode to Olympia)' is definitely a no hit with its fundamental glam-rock surface.
The CD comes to a superbly graceful end with ‘Tender is the Night'. Steve Nieve on the keys leaves no stone unturned in making this gentle song with its fair share of electronic yanks, a number to reckon with. Bryan Ferry works his wonder in just the right measure.
Other tracks include ‘Shameless' and ‘Reason or Rhyme'. The extended edition has two extra tracks — ‘Whatever gets you through the Night' and ‘One Night'.
With this album, Bryan Ferry does what he does best — make awe-inspiring music.