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Roxy Music - Country Life CD (album) cover

COUNTRY LIFE

Roxy Music

 

Crossover Prog

3.67 | 211 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Swingin' country style

Roxy's fourth was recorded in the summer of 1974 and is regarded by some as their finest work, and their most "normal" piece of work. My biggest problem with Country Life is my ongoing disappointment with their studio albums: after hearing the live Roxy, the studio albums are just flat in comparison. Roxy is an amazing live band, full of life, the passion of Ferry's presence always pushed by the gorgeous instrumental improvisations. How does one go back to hearing them in this setting, with a constrained production and tamed band?

Musically Country Life finds the band in a festive mood. As Lise said in the Bio, if Oscar Wilde were alive today Roxy would be his favorite. Decadence, glammed-up party rock, passionate neo-Sinatra crooning all served up with a healthy dose of sexuality. As mentioned the tracks are mostly "normal" rock tracks with verses and choruses, rock beats, and reasonable lengths. There is the pounding opener "Thrill of it All" which goes on far too long but sets the mood of the album, followed by the whimsical, delicious pop of "Three and Nine." The heavy hitters consist of "Out of the Blue" which would become phenomenal in the live setting. "Bitter-sweet" is a classic with Ferry looking at the wreckage of lost love, sounding like an old and cheated man, to this very moody music. He breaks into German at certain points as the music gets angrier.

"These vintage years! Lovers you consume, my friend. As others their wine."

And my personal favorite is the song Ferry was born to deliver, "Casanova." Another look at jilted love that sounds quite angry if you just read the lyrics on paper, but when you listen it is delivered with a flamboyant romp that makes plain Ferry enjoys every second of the game. He scolds on paper but gives you the eye wink acceptance when he actually sings it. It's an absolutely masterful vocal that must be heard to understand. "Country Life" is certainly a good collection of art-pop/rock songs and many see it as a great collection. The lyrics and songwriting are very good. I personally just can't get past my disappointments of squaring the live versions of their material with these studio ones and with this album that trend continues. I will always have to recommend people turn to their live DVDs for optimal Roxy fun. 3 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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