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SIREN

Roxy Music

Crossover Prog


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Roxy Music Siren album cover
3.58 | 116 ratings | 17 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Love Is the Drug (4:11)
2. End of the Line (5:14)
3. Sentimental Fool (6:14)
4. Whirlwind (3:38)
5. She Sells (3:39)
6. Could It Happen to Me? (3:36)
7. Both Ends Burning (5:16)
8. Nightingale (4:11)
9. Just Another High (6:31)

Total Time: 42:30

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Bryan Ferry / voices & keyboards
- Phil Manzanera / guitar
- Andy Mackay / oboe & saxophone
- Paul Thompson / drums
- Eddie Jobson / strings, synthesizer, keyboards
- John Gustafson / bass


Releases information

LP Atco 36127 (1975) / CD Virgin 47455 (2000)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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ROXY MUSIC Siren ratings distribution


3.58
(116 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

ROXY MUSIC Siren reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Rolling Stone called it the band's "masterpiece." Vibe (no, really) ranked it among their 100 Essential Albums. All of which begs the question: Do these guys even own a copy of Country Life? It's not that I don't like Siren, but I don't love it the way I do Country Life, For Your Pleasure, even their first album. Maybe it's the banality of "Love Is The Drug" or the rushed arrangements, perhaps the knowledge of what would come makes me twinge at the traces of disco, but to me Siren feels less like a culmination than a commercialization. Mind you, I like almost every song on here, and that's by design. The hooks are punched up, the pathos played up, and (voila!) we go from Greta Garbo to Marilyn Monroe in two easy payments. So we come to the conclusion that Siren lacks subtlety rather than passion. Garbo is an acquired taste, Monroe universal. "Casanova" and "Mother of Pearl" put up some resistance, "Sentimental Fool" and "Just Another High" are easy. It's when Siren sounds most like Country Life that I'm happiest: "Prairie Rose" blooming anew in "Whirlwind," "If It Takes All Night" spilling over into "End of the Line," "Nightingale" following the manic tailwinds of "All I Want Is You." But Ferry never returns to his old, cryptic self; it's as if he went from solo album to Siren without making the requisite costume change. The love songs are simply that, the European cafes replaced by late-night discos, the hero vulnerable and human. Obviously, that's exactly what some folks were looking for, but a masterpiece? One of the world's top 100 albums? I'd be surprised if Roxy fans rated this among the band's top 5 albums (Avalon and Viva! Roxy Music might give it a run for its money).

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#57187) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In 1975, Roxy Music released their fifth album, SIREN, and it was both a triumph and a departure for the English glam/art rockers. On the prior STRANDED and COUNTRY LIFE, Roxy had attained the perfect blend of their artier explorations and glam rock leanings. SIREN, however finds a band now content to be less daring, yet more unified and polished in its sound. With suave front man Bryan Ferry now firmly ensconced in his white dinner jacket, bowtie and "seen it all" playboy image, the group was arguably more quintessentially "Roxy" than ever before.

BY '75, as those of my generation will recall (some with fond nostalgia, others, with a shudder), disco had become a major force in the music industry, and on the airways. The "sexy" slinky sound with the generic unvarying beat was, for many seasoned rock fans like myself, boring, tepid listening, but -- if you were so inclined (I wasn't) -- it was very easy to dance to.

Songwriter Ferry, like many of his contemporaries, hearkened to disco's "siren" song, and incorporated its beat and hip-swaying bass line for SIREN's opener. The infectious "Love Is the Drug" is disco-flavoured, true, and doubtless caused many long term followers to fear the worst as it first boomed out of their stereos, but Ferry is no Donna Summer. This number manages to be both eminently danceable, and a wry commentary upon disco's frequently shallow, hedonistic scene of "nose candy" and casual encounters. "Love Is the Drug" gave Roxy frequent airplay, exposure to an ever-expanding audience and their biggest hit to that time. It was also a harbinger of things to come, as the next two albums, the disappointing "one-hit wonder" MANIFESTO, and the slick FLESH AND BLOOD would be even more unabashedly dance floor and airwaves-oriented -- and thus much less imaginative and interesting. After SIREN, Roxy, regrettably, would never again release an album as well suited to long term fans' more eclectic tastes. Henceforth, the rocking edge, experimentation, and often darkly clever lyrics would be absent, in favour of ever greater monetary - if not artistic - "success."

Still, "Love Is the Drug" is a good song, and the only one on SIREN that gets the disco treatment. Other fine tracks include the easy-going "End of the Line," which features some nice Eddie Jobsen violin, along with effectively evocative harmonica and piano, and "Sentimental Fool," which opens with some eerie Manzanera guitar and atmospheric keyboards, before morphing, about half-way through its six-plus minutes, into a more straight-forward paean to the bitter-sweet pain of romantic love, and the heart-quickening, life-affirming allure of the fairer sex. Paul Thompsen's drums, Manzanera's axe, and Jobsen and Ferry's keys work particularly well together here.

"Whirlwind" is a terrific rocker, with some punchy, crunchy bass from Jon Gustafson, Thomsen's trademark pounding drums, and some excellent Manzanera lead. "She Sells" keeps the session moving apace, and has an interesting time change, terrific piano and drums, and Jobsen's violin rounding out the sound. Crank it up and smile - this one really kicks!

"Both Ends Burning" is also a favourite of mine, and was destined to become a staple of the band's live act. Very danceable (sans the disco beat) -- very Roxy. "Keep on burning 'til the end - the very end!"

"Nightingale," co-written with Manzanera, is another winner, and a great showcase for the band as a well-oiled machine. Excellent guitar, bass, drums and violin make this "bird" fly past.

Closing out the session is "Just Another High," a longer, moodier Ferry composition in the tradition of COUNTRY LIFE's "A Really Good Time." The song provides a powerful end to the album, with Ferry lamenting a lost love for whom: "playing at love was another high - just another high." (By the way, that's Ferry's beautiful then-love Jerry Hall on the cover, reclining moistly and seductively on the kelp-strewn English coast. In Greek myth, the siren's supernatural song would lure smitten, spellbound sailors to wreck and ruin on the rocks. In this world, Hall would leave Ferry for Mick Jagger - hmmm. life imitating art?)

Overall then, SIREN was another solid four-star offering from Roxy Music. One of their defining, truly essential albums, it yet marked the end of an exciting era for the band. The ancient example of Odysseus and crew notwithstanding, you can safely listen to this SIREN song in complete confidence of "a really good time." Whole-heartedly recommended!

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#68424) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 05, 2006

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars That's the kind of rock music that really B-O-R-E-S me, especially the side 1! I cannot believe that my favorite keyboardist Eddie Jobson is involved: Mostly, I cannot recognize his style or influence, except on the not bad "She sells", on which he plays his typical rhythmic piano and violin, plus some interesting clavinet parts: with a more aggressive guitar, this track could be taken for a Curved Air's one. I don't really see convincing progressive elements in the overall music: I even think it arguably stands near the lower limit of the prog related classification acceptance. I rather think it is just a slightly sophisticated standard accessible rock. Bryan Ferry's voice is not mature at all: you have to wait untill his solo career of the 80's to really appreciate his voice. The inoffensive electric guitar is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bland: an unprecedented case in the prog history! The sax parts are just inexpressive and insipid. The psychedelic part on "Sentimental Fool" is just irritating with the grinding gross guitar. The side 2 is slightly better and more original. On the other hand, listening to the first 4 tracks leads to a real state of impatience. So, I give 2.5 stars for side 2 and 1.5 star for side 1.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#94465) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 14, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars What will Roxy deliver with "Siren" ?

The first four wonderful minutes are just INCREDIBLE. Of course everybody loves this song (or not ?). Pop, melodious, with great saxing from Mackay. An absolute "chef d'oeuvre". One of their best track ever and the fifth great opener in five albums. It will reach number two on the UK charts (being held off the Nr. one by the re-release of "Space Oddity" from ... Mr. David Bowie). It has been played in every Ferry and Roxy tour since it's release.

The very croony "End Of The Line" is also a very Roxy (Ferry?) song. Omnipresent bass and nice piano. This mellow song has a catchy melody and Ferry sounds pretty decadent in this number (as Roxy was on stage). The pleasure goes on...

"Sentimental Fool" is a very nice ballad, again highlighting Ferry's crooning style. It starts with pretty weird sounds for about 2'30" or so (it reminds the atmosphere of their first album very much). I love that track very much. It opened up Roxy usic's Siren tour in 1975

"Whirlwind" is another gigantic Roxy song : incredible rythm and feeling. Manzarena at his best : one the few hard rock tune from Roxy. "She Sells" is probably the weakest track on "Siren" : rather funky, but still not bad at all. "Could It Happen To Me?" is, again, a very good song : commercial, pop with nice rythm and, again, a great backing band (piano in particular).

IMO, the best is yet to come. "Both Ends Burning" is one of my top five from Roxy : incredible Mackay, great bass from Gustafson, superb vocal interpretation as always. This is a great moment of music. All genres, all periods being considered. This rather long song (over five minutes) for Roxy could have lasted for ever. Such a gorgeous five minutes, man !

"Nightingale" is also very good and keeps the quality of this album at "just another high". I can't help : I just love this Roxy sound ! It's one of the few Manzarena / Ferry compositions. This leads us to the closing number which is ..."Just Another High" ! This closing number is another highlight of this very good album. It will never be played live though.

So, yes, Roxy managed to release another great album after the fantastic "Country Life". This is probably the easiest Roxy album. The bad news is that Roxy decided to disband after this album. Each member pursuing their respective solo careers. The band has left an indelible mark on the seventies : full of creativity and innovation. Each of their first five studio effort ranges from good to sublime. They will come back soon. So, the Roxy adventure is not over yet. Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#111647) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 11, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Released in 1975 Siren is the fifth full-length studio album by UK pop/ rock act Roxy Music. The lineup is unchanged since the albums predecessor Country Life (1974) and the style that was played on that album is very much carried on.

The album starts with the great Love Is the Drug and practically never looks back from there. I think all songs are good and it´s great to see a bit of experimentation taking place in the first two minutes of Sentimental Fool. Something that has been lacking from Roxy Music´s sound since Brian Eno left after For Your Pleasure (1973).

The musicianship is excellent. Just enjoy that rythm section. I mean they are so tight and just great fun to listen to. The rest of the band are of course excellent musicians as well.

The production is the best sound that Roxy Music has had so far. A really good production that I enjoy greatly.

The music on Siren is sophisticated pop/ rock delivered with lots of energy and attention to detail. This is not progressive music with long instrumental sections or odd rythm patterns but it is very clever music IMO. A big 3 star rating is warranted. Together with For Your Pleasure and Country Life this album is a great representative of the early Roxy Music.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#204273) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Roxy Music's fifth studio album was (and remains) a quintessential model of modern rock in the mid-1970s. It might actually be easier to appreciate now, three decades later, than when the album was new, and sounded like such a calculated mainstream sell-out of the original Roxy vision. The sartorial weirdness of the ENO years was gone; the world-weary decadence of songs like "Mother of Pearl" had mellowed; what remained were only the suave European manners that would define the band for years to come.

Even the absurdly popular single "Love Is the Drug" sounds better in retrospect. In 1975 it was one of those ubiquitous AM radio hits (like JETHRO TULL's "Bungle in the Jungle", released a year earlier) that hardcore fans knew didn't really represent the true spirit of the band: in this case a truly shortsighted reaction expressing the connoisseur's distrust of sudden commercial success.

This was, keep in mind, an entirely different, less adventurous Roxy Music than the art school glam-rockers of 1972. The group by then belonged entirely to Bryan Ferry, but unlike later Roxy albums (all of them de facto Ferry solo projects) this one meshed like a well oiled, perfectly tuned machine. Even more than on earlier efforts, the music here was anchored by a rock-solid rhythm section, led by the stalwart drumming of Paul Thompson. It proved to be his farewell appearance on a Roxy studio album, and his muscular 4-4 punch, so at odds with the decade's penchant for jazz-influenced hyper-virtuosity, is a large part of what makes the album so remarkably fresh for such an undeniable artifact of its time (for proof, I direct your attention to the gut-thumping intro to "Just Another High").

"Siren" was the band's final album before their initial breakup, which couldn't have been better planned. After the shock waves from the Punk revolution had receded, Ferry was able to reconvene an even sleeker, slicker Roxy Music, one that would serve as a blueprint for the copycat dance-floor fashions of the New Romantics in the 1980s. Except for a few more, likeminded Bryan Ferry solo albums ("In Your Mind", "The Bride Stripped Bare"), this one would retire the classic Roxy Music sound of the 1970s.

One last observation: in a forum dedicated only to Progressive Rock the album probably wouldn't earn anything more than a respectable three stars. But a strict interpretation of the (revised?) Prog Archives rating guidelines allows me to happily reward it with an extra star, as an 'excellent addition to any rock [and not strictly Prog, take note] music collection'. Any album marking the end of an era for such an influential band deserves no less.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#221845) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 19, 2009

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#273429) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 22, 2010

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Looking around other forums, I've found that a lot of people tend to consider this one of Roxy's two best albums, and this is an idea I heartily endorse. One thing kinda bugs me when I see some reviews of it, though (again, not in this forum, but in other places); there often tends to be quite a bit of praise for the album being so sleek and stripped-down and dancable. This isn't bad in itself, of course, but I always get the feeling that the implication of such statements is that this stripped-down, funkier state is a big improvement over the sound they'd had before, which was much more dense and tricky and insane. I mean, wasn't being dense and tricky and insane one of the main reasons people liked the band in the first place? I just can't help but be bothered by the idea that being stripped down is better in and of itself than being lush (I mean, just look at Manifesto), just as I am bothered by the idea that being lush is better in and of itself than being stripped down.

That's not to say I don't like the sound of the album, of course. It's just that I'm of the mindset that the sound works not because it's stripped and dancable, but rather works because it still sounds like this stripped and dancable music is being made by a freaking great band. The band is still tight as can be, the drum sound is terrific for this kind of music (for whatever reason, which I'm still not sure of, the drums are the first thing that really caught my ear on this album), and Ferry is still at the top of his game (much more consistently so than on Country, if you ask me). Furthermore, the sound is perfect for the "post- breakup debauchery" theme that runs through the album, and it makes the great pleadings and croonings come that much more alive.

Actually, come to think of it, the "dance pop" (or funk or disco or whatever) reputation this album has is kinda overstated, as there are only three tracks out of nine that I think would really qualify. Ironically, for all my rantings about funkiness not automatically improving something, these are my three favorite tracks on the album, though in a different order from how most tend to order them. Believe it or not, the infamous opening "Love is the Drug" is only my third favorite on the album; this of course means that it's a great song, with a fine bassline and amusing lyrics about needing to score his fix, but I honestly don't find it as addictive as so many others do. "She Sells," on the other hand, gets a no-hesitation thumbs up from me. What makes this song so great in my eyes is that, as overpowering as the funk breaks in the middle might be (and oh man, do they groove, accentuated by the great saxophone lines that had become underutilized by this time), they are *not* the main feature of the song, which is formed around this great sorta sleazy vaudeville piano theme and Ferry alternating a bizarre (even by his standards) croon with other great parts like where he goes into that robotic "con-sum-ing you con-sum-ing meeeeee" part. Oh man what a great song.

In my world, though, all on Siren bows down before the might of "Both Ends Burning." This is a disco-rocker that does both aspects proud, with great sounding background synth noises and a relentless groove that grabs me and never lets go (and believe me, it takes a lot for a dancable groove to grab me) while Ferry pulls out some more absolutely amazing vocal hooks. Look, I know it'll never happen, but if ever comes the day where I'm allowed to be a DJ for one evening, there is no doubt in mind that this would be the song I'd choose to be the closing send-off, as I really can't think of any song that would be better suited. I can also say that, on the 16-track Roxy Music compilation I made for myself, this was a hands-down choice to close it out, as it does an amazing job of leaving me wanting more (and wanting to put the compilation back on, natch).

There are six other songs on here, and they're mostly good. I could live without the really awkward, schmaltzy "Could it Happen to Me?" (possibly the WORST choice to stick between "She Sells" and "Both Ends Burning," as is the case here), but that's the only one I can gripe about. "End of the Line" is first-rate nostalgia (and with a great 'home-on-the-range' style harmonica to boot), "Whirlwind" is a marvelous pop-rocker whose opening gives Phil his best moment on the album (the wall-of-sound strummed distortion, I mean), "Nightingale" is a decent ballad, and "Just Another High" is pretty much the perfect philosophical end to the album (basically it's "great, the buzz is wearing off, and I'm still lonely. I miss her"). Oh, there's also "Sentimental Fool," which opens with a long stretch of creepy Eno-ish and Fripp-ish noises before going into another nice ballad with more nice vocals...

Ok, so the album isn't exactly spectacular outside of the three main highlights, big deal. It's really good, though, and those high points are easily high enough to guarantee this thing a high ****. Which is a lot more than I can say for the album that came into being after the band took a lengthy break ...

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#702290) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 01, 2012

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The last album of Roxy Music's first incarnation (before a temporary split, a few mediocre comeback albums, and the swansong of Avalon) feels like it's a concept album in disguise; Bryan Ferry begins the album declaring that "Love is the Drug" for him, but by the end he's realised that it was "Just Another High". Although the band's art rock stylings begin to fray at the edges at some points, at other stages they're as strong as ever - Love Is the Drug is a great, muscular album over which manages to hide some fascinating twists and textures within an illusion of apparent simplicity, in particular - and if they'd never reunited at this point this would have been as good a last gasp as any.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#978563) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars If you got up to this "SIREN" album , the fifth album in Roxy's discography, I suppose you quiet got the idea, that Roxy was a mutable organism, that moved freely and unattached, even to its "followers" or markets at the time. Therefore, surprises were always welcomed, knowing beforehand, that grea ... (read more)

Report this review (#895491) | Posted by admireArt | Saturday, January 19, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Siren ? 1975 (2.8/5) 10 ? Best Song: End of the Line. The questions this time around are very simple ones. How much do you like Elton John and Tom Petty? Okay, if you answered that with anything other than 'bunches!', then feel free to inch yourself away from the stereo. Question two: How m ... (read more)

Report this review (#443579) | Posted by Alitare | Friday, May 06, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Siren is the 5th Roxy Music album, and it is indeed a classic. Detractors may be put off by the direction taken by the band on this release, but they can't ignore the art that lies within the grooves of Siren. There may be some pop hooks here and there in place of the experimentation from previo ... (read more)

Report this review (#135326) | Posted by jimidom | Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars AWESOME! AWESOME!AWESOME!........yes, a poppier work from this ineffably sublime and influencial band, but nonetheless progressive and unique. Manzanera's guitar work is stellar as usual and Paul Thompson is a consummately dynamic drummer. Jobson plays a mean fiddle and MacKay is a madman on s ... (read more)

Report this review (#43617) | Posted by ralphcat | Sunday, August 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Definitely Roxy's pop masterpiece. If you're looking for an intelligent pop album, with great melodies and interesting musical ideas, look no further! The sound has become more commercial and there are few progressive elements left. It is a lot more accessible than the previous albums and beca ... (read more)

Report this review (#39505) | Posted by harm s. | Friday, July 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Good as a pop album, but way too smooth and slick to be considered a prog recording, or even art-rock for that matter. Way too "lounge" and fashion-oriented. Good over cocktails at some jet-setters party. ... (read more)

Report this review (#34031) | Posted by EMinkovitch | Thursday, March 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another great Roxy record. Opens with the funky plunky "Love is the Drug"... My favorite evolution of B ferry is probably this album, somewhere between a baratone David Byrne from the Talking Heads days, and Morrissey. Lots of musical instuments, variations, and always with the great bass play ... (read more)

Report this review (#34030) | Posted by | Thursday, March 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Siren marks the end of era for Roxy Music as in the next three studio releases the band would take on a more sleek sultry pop style that came to full fruition on Avalon. Siren seems to catch Brian Ferry at a fairly turbulent point in his life as the songs follow the theme of love gone bad ... (read more)

Report this review (#34028) | Posted by madgo2 | Saturday, January 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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