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Roxy Music - Siren CD (album) cover

SIREN

Roxy Music

 

Crossover Prog

3.66 | 164 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Roxy Music fifth´s album was something of a return to form after the rather uneven Country Life... And it´s a little underrated too. Siren is not the kind of CD that will win you over right away. In fact, at first I thought it was a bit dull and uninspired when I heard it. It was only a few spins that I started to notice the fine, subtle and intricated arrangements. The band never sounded more cohesive, tight and creative in terms of perfoming the songs. it´s not a good album for background music: it demands your atention most of the time, but it also rewards you when you do so.

Besides, Srien have at least two of Roxy´s classic stuff: their bigest self penned single, Love Is The Drug and Both Ends Burning. Love... is the perfect hit: the thumping bass opening, the great drum roll, the infectious guitar riff and one of McKay´s best sax lines. Very good lyrics (even if the real drug mentioned is not love, but quick sex. But it works in the ironic and desperate way Bryan Ferry delivers the words). Both Ends Burning is another highlight with Eddie Jobson´s ARP String synthesizer as the main instrument to give the song its floating feeling. Although its somewhat chaotic live version included on Viva is better, this one is very good too.

The remaining tracks are not as easy to get into as those two songs, but still there are no fillers and all of them are very well performed and produced. According to bassist John Gustafson, Siren was the first album since he joined Roxy that the band actually wrote the tunes first and rehearsed them before going to the studio (the ones did before were made while recording!). And it shows. The result was not one of the group´s most accessible stuff (bar the two aforementioned tracks), but it is also one of their most elaborated ones. It was complex music disguised as simple and I believe a lot of people took it for face value.

The bad news were that Roxy disbanded soon after its release. The pressure was mounting up on the group (particulary on Bryan Ferry). So, after five albums in just three years (not counting several side projects and collaborations by the band members, two Ferry highly successful solo albums, plus grueling tours) they decided to call it a day. They needed a break (and the timing was just right, for they avoided the clash with the arriving punk rock movement). They would only come back eventually some four years later. But that´s another history. With Siren Roxy Music managed to close their ´classic´ period with grace. The album may be different alright, but it is also one of their best. Four stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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