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Roxy Music - Roxy Music CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

4.05 | 278 ratings

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4 stars Roxy Music - 1972 (3.6/5) 12 ? Best Song: If There is Something

Roxy Music began as a specialized, projected idea: Let's take hard glammy rock and make it smart! Which is exactly what they did. Any and everything you might have liked about David Bowie is present in the form. And everything you might have liked about ELP is NOT anywhere to be seen. While the keyboard plays a very prominent role, it is in no way reminiscent of what Keith Emerson was bopping out at the time. In a way, at this juncture the Eno-sir was an essential commodity. He was the head producer of their 'sound' and he contributed those fabulous synthesizer works. The guitars are processed and mixed in a way that half the time, if you pay close enough attention, they're always there, wiggling and squiggling, but it's almost as if they were relegated to being mere background spices to the overall Roxy stew. It's something you have to let rest on the tip of your mind's tongue before you can grasp the full flavor of 'Ladytron', or the exciting 'Remake/Remodel', which contains all sorts of weird ideas.

But what do the synths do, sir? Well, they don't take up any more soundspace than the vocals, and certainly don't allow anyone a fifteen minute jam session based on classical motifs. They're used as a rival to the guitars, and oft times they end up dueling in a way so different from Dream Theater's shenanigans you begin to wonder why things drifted so far in the first place. Now, this isn't too much more than your average smart glam rock album with deep production values, except for the inclusion of 'If There Is Something', which I nearly worship. It is this building, paranoid ballad that's driven by Ferry's ever-hurried and frenzied singing until the solo 'war' finds itself at your doorstep. The guitar and synth do battle, and it is unbelievable. Oh, I'd come back time and time again to this album for that song, alone.

The rest is a series of competent, hard rocking glamzo tunes with extra bleeps and bloops inbetween guitar riffs. 'Virginia Plains' has Bryan Ferry blabbering stupidly, but with a great groovy backdrop, and 'Bitters End' is a slice of quirky English do-bop. The melodies are interesting, if not a little lazy. It doesn't matter so much then, when you rate an album by its personality, because if that's your only criteria. Then you might as well chock the Roxy debut up as a masterpiece. Me, I have my reservations, but I never let it keep me from having a damn good time in the process.

Alitare | 4/5 |


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