Odd-ball or goof-ball?
Rob Damm | 09/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one heck of a strange album. I'm not really sure what to make of it, and I think that's a good thing. Sometimes, I find myself oddly moved by the songs. Ferry's quavering take on "Smoke Gets in your Eyes" IS weird, but almost definitive. It raises goosebumps. Sometime, I find myself laughing at the album. Ferry sings "What A Wonderful World" like he's mad at the song. It's not really a bad thing, but I just wonder what he was thinking or what sound he was going for. "You are My Sunshine" displays the silly-serious dichotomy within the same song: at times, it's touching, at times laughable. It seems like Ferry set out to prove that some songs are just SO good, no matter how strangely you sing them, you can't diminish thier power. That sentiment, in fact, sums up this album. Definitely odd,(even by Ferry/Roxy standards) probably goofy, but to my ear, excellent in its own idiosyncratic way. Camp and schmaltz have always been a part of the Ferry/Roxy music pantheon, and they are played to the forefront here. That said, the musicianship is fantastically professional, the arangements deep and eclectic, the recording (of course) pristine, and the title track (a Ferry original) one of the best things he's ever sung.For extra laughs, check out the liner notes. The credit "Cover Concept By Bryan Ferry" really had me giggling. I could just imagine him saying (in... British accent) "hey guys, I'm so damn handsome, Let's just get a shot of me dressed like the Great Gatsby with a come-hither-look on my face standing in front of a swimming pool. That would make a great cover." And you know what? In a way, it did?"
Ferry's Mixed Bag
Jay Murphy | Landover Hills, Maryland United States | 04/26/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For me, Bryan Ferry's second solo album is a bit uneven in the quality of song choices. I find most of these selections rather boring, even with Ferry's unique arrangements and vocal stylings present. But though half of the CD is a little uninspired, there are five songs that make this worth purchasing. The best songs are the first and last ones. "The In Crowd" is handled perfectly with just the right amount of camp and humor. Also a bit humorous are the versions of "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and "Fingerpoppin'". "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is touching and lovely. Finally, the title track is one of Bryan's best original songs with its unusual time changes and catchy melody. If you dig this CD, pick up his first solo outing, "These Foolish Things"."
A bit Disappointing.
Phillip Thomas Powell | Eastern USA | 08/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ferry's second solo round finds him mining the classic cover songs again, but with far less inspiration. Although the album opens very strongly, with back-to-back phenomenal covers, most of the rest of the album sags. The first track, 'The In Crowd', is explosively sublime, and he renders the following track, 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes', in a way that forever defines the song (in my view, THE definitive version of this standard), but the energy quickly flags and the record limps along with what seems to be a bevy of filler tracks until the final, title track (the only original composition on the album) which returns the listener to the stratosphere. Overall disappointing after his debut effort, but well worth having if only for the first 2 and final tracks."