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Roxy Music - Country Life CD (album) cover

COUNTRY LIFE

Roxy Music

 

Crossover Prog

3.67 | 208 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars By 1974 glam rock was pretty much past behind its prime. But Roxy Music would go on to prove they were much more than just a visually strinking band with some talented musicians. Unfortunatly, their fourth album was not one of their best. There was clearly a change of direction here and the band (or more likely Bryan Ferry) didn´t seem to know exactly where to go. Country Life reeks a little like Ferry´s solo output and the singer sounds a bit trying to emulate his beloved american songwriters of pre-rock ´n´roll period. Doing that they lost two of their most appealing qualities: originality and lack of rock cliches. But the album had its merits anyway. It was also the first to feature the same bassist (John Gustafson) that had played on the prevous one (even if it seems he was never a ´real´ full time member, since for the tour they hired ex King Crimson John Wetton)

The cover was one of them, quite sensual. Sexist ok, but yet very well done. In many countries it was replaced by either a close-up photo of the models or (as in Brazil at the time) the girls were erased altogether and only the background foliage remained. And the tracklist has some fine moments like the opener The Thrill Of It All. Out Of the Blue is another great track and a classic Roxy Music tune that was a staple of live perfomances ever since(great violin solo in the end!). Ferry was also writing some of his best and most mature lyrics so far. Casanova is a very good one and the music is good enough to match it.

Still, most of the material is not that strong and with so many bluesrock and R&B bands around why one should bother to hear Roxy´s entry in this field? They sound basic and amateurish in comparison (just listen to If It Takes All Night and you´ll know what I mean). The german cabaret style of stuff like Bitter Sweet and Triptych is ok, I guess, but it is not my cup of tea. The final track Praire Rose is the typical rock track with country flavor of the period: nice, but ultimatly too commonplace and forgetable. Less than one year before Roxy seemed to be on the vanguard of the music scene. With Country Life they looked eager to please the mainstream rock audience (America maybe?). Small wonder the album was not well riceived by critics and it sold less than Stranded.

Conclusion: Not a bad album, of course, but definitly not as good as the previous three. My rating keeps shifting from 3 to 3,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |

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