The Jazz Age
Bryan Ferry's music has always been tinged with a retro feel. Even the jarringly eclectic first album by Roxy Music featured his Cole Porter-styled crooning. Now he's gone even further back in the musical time machine, adapting some of his best-known songs into early jazz-age arrangements (think Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke). He even used special recording techniques to give the sessions a true 1920s feel. The songs have also been turned into instrumentals and Ferry doesn't actually play anything--he's more of a conceptualist/arranger. So, how do things fare? Once you get past the "how can he possibly make 'The Bogus Man' work that way?" stage, surprisingly well. Significant stylistic liberties are taken--"Avalon" loses its silky groove and gets a bit more of a stomp--but it all turns into a very delightful listen. In the long run, it may be better in doses, though.