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Roxy Music - Avalon CD (album) cover

AVALON

Roxy Music

 

Crossover Prog

3.66 | 189 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Roxy Music is one band that I loved through all of their line-ups and styles. In my opinion, they made all of their style adjustments in a sophisticated manner. From the extreme prog music of their early days, to their sophisticated, lush sounds at the end of their discography, I think their music rises above so many others that tried to adjust their sound to reflect the present day. Yes, it's true that the music on "Avalon" has got that certain "romantic, dance style" and inspired somewhat to the disco sounds of the time, they weren't satisfied to just make run of the mill dance music, they rose above it, perfected and improved on it. The end result is this near perfect album of mature, sophisticated rock, and it remains, in my opinion, deserving of the progressive rock status because of their ability to take a genre of music above the norm.

This album is simply beautiful music. "Avalon" is the perfect song, with the background vocals of Yanick Etienne, who they discovered when she was with her own band in the same studio. Ferry was so impressed with her vocals, that he knew her voice was exactly the thing needed to make that song perfect. She was added in at the last moment, not even understanding a word of English they completed the final recording the next day. Not only that, but the song "More Than This" is the perfect example of Roxy Music in their last days. A perfect album opener, introducing the listener to the lushness and rhythmic sound that this album has to offer. Other great highlights are "The Main Thing", "The Space Between", "While My Heart is Still Beating" and even the shorter, transitory tracks are even great. This is the perfect Progressive Pop.

The main lineup was down to 3 people for this album including Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera and his stylistic guitar layers and sounds, and Andy Mackay with his lush and never overbearing sax. Along with session musicians, they turned this into a beautiful experience, with all instruments and vocals working together to create not just music, but a feeling of sophisticated rock, with plenty of ambience and emotion that buries you into the sound. It makes you want to just float in the sound that is created.

I know there were a lot of Roxy fans that didn't like the new sound, and that is the risk that you run when you explore different sounds. But I find it just as inventive as their previous sounds. I absolutely hate disco music, but I love this album and all of their music that had that same style. Like I said, they perfected the sound and gave it personality and life. It's just so smooth. It's like it's own sub genre; sophisti-prog. If only more bands could have taken this cue to expand and improve on the sounds of the era, and yes there were a few, like "Icehouse" and "Talk Talk" that did so. I can't give this album anything less that a 5 star rating, essential in the fact that it inspired a lot of music made in the decade of the 80s and definite masterpiece in that it was the best in the style of music it inspired.

TCat | 5/5 |

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