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Roxy Music - Manifesto CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

2.77 | 135 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars During a lengthy break, Bryan Ferry had established a prolific solo career, and during 1979, the first Roxy Music album of new material, since 1975's 'Siren', had materialised in the form of this album, 'Manifesto'. The Roxy sound has now been inflicted with a good dose of 'New Wave' slickness, but also offered up some darker atmospheres and an even more polished musicianship, notably from future 'Adam And The Ants' Bass-player Gary Tibbs. His meandering Fretless work is intricate and tasteful. Other new-comers included Paul Carrack (Mike And The Mechanics) and Alan Spenner (?). Regular members still on board are Guitarist Phil Manzanera, Reedsman Andy Mackay and Drummer Paul Thompson, and of course Bryan F. Highlights include the title- song, which opens in true Roxy-of-old style - avante elements notwithstanding, those atonal/tri-tonal Horn squawks from Mackay are quite reminiscent of Van Der Graaf's David Jackson, surprisingly enough. After a few voiceless minutes, Ferry enters in grand fashion, with more 'bite' to his singing than usual. There's also some swirling Hammond Organ playing going on. 'Angel Eyes' is another surprise, kind of straight forward to begin with, but takes some off-kilter turns at times, with quite strange key changes, and Paul Thompson shows us he can do some interesting things on his kit. 'Stronger Through the Years', the longest track (6.13), is mysterious sounding, courtesy of the rather ethereal tone of the Piano (similar to Banks, or even Hammill) along with some busy and bouncy Bass-work, especially when the jammy bits are playing through. Strangely enough, these parts sound almost improvised. That's 3 excellent tunes out of 5 on Side 1 (East Side). So far so good. Side 2 (West Side) seems to offer up songs with an A.O.R. bent to them. 'Ain't That So' sports a nice groove, and I've always enjoyed the light- hearted 'My Little Girl', which is packed full of sweeter-than-sweet melodies, making it difficult not to smile when hearing this, even though we're now miles away from anything remotely Progressive. The successful Smash Hit 'Dance Away' won the band a whole new crowd (and possibly got them sports cars and condo's in St. Barts...). The rest of the songs are a little hum-drum - with 'Cry Cry, Cry' plummeting to the lowest of depths possible. 3 stars.
Tom Ozric | 3/5 |


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