Siren (Half Speed Master Vinyl Reissue)
June 20, 2022
In 1975, a thin white David Bowie was busy singing plastic soul tunes to young Americans, Marc Bolan had since disappeared behind the cutout of Zinc Alloy, Iggy Pop was spiraling in a haze of manic dope (but not before registering Gross powerhis best album), and Lou Reed was busy pissing the world off with metal machine music. At the time, one imagines, it was as if the extravagant pleasure dome of glam and art rock had long since been inaugurated, transformed into a flower garden of earthly delights, and then left to rust. The tides were turning, a post-Watergate world was reluctantly beginning to move forward. Whatever baroque idealism post-hippie youth culture once offered seemed to finally be slipping through its fingers as popular music continued its own evolution. Without Roxy Music and its phenomenal production of the mid-70s, the whole scene would have evaporated in a few years. Fifth studio album by the influential English art rock band Mermaid was, for the music world, a seductive call across the stormy seas of popular culture, inviting former stage enthusiasts to return to the mythical forgotten shore for one more thrill, a gentle reminder that Roxy Music was always there. news and had aged gracefully since the release of the avant-garde classic the previous year. country life.
In effect, Mermaid is a revelation: a luscious dreamscape of post-glam melancholy, which ultimately stands as Roxy Music‘s finest album. Boasting the hit song “Love Is the Drug”, which became the group’s breakthrough single in the US, reaching #30 in the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart, Mermaid served as Roxy Music’s introduction to a wider American audience. “Love is the Drug”, like much of the album, fuses the avant-garde extremism of previous efforts Roxy Music, For your pleasure, failed, and country life with the sharp, funk-influenced art pop sensibilities of Bryan Ferry’s future vision, the suave singer refusing to retire his ‘lounge lizard’ persona entirely, which is a virtue here, as his sleek English charm in a white tuxedo adds greatly to the harmonious blend of the album. Mermaid“End of the Line”, Roxy Music’s key track (and arguably one of Roxy Music’s greatest achievements), finds Ferry perfectly humming a story of heartbreak and separation against a shimmering piano melody, accented by a salty harmonica and, later, a ghostly violin, making the experience absolutely perfect. “Have you ever been alone? / Mystified and blue? Ferry asks his listeners. “Realize only/Your number is up/You’re done.” One of the greatest breakthrough tracks to emerge from its decade, “End of the Line” is an underrated gem from Roxy Music, deserving even more praise. The same can be said of the whimsical artistic ballad “Sentimental Fool,” which recalls Roxy Music’s earlier experimentalism, as Ferry gently confesses, “Though it’s all in vain/I’d do it again/Just to live a minute again .” The song’s saxophone rush carries the listener to greater heights of titillation, before the passion begins to fade with Ferry’s sudden change to sinister, asking, “The beat of your heart/Is like a drum/Will it stop?” the listener, now in the dark, shivering in an attempt to catch his breath.
Baroque piano rocker “She Sells” is saturated with strings of English melodrama, juxtaposed against a wall of rumbling percussion and funky bass lines, before finally taking on a harder edge, while the brilliant lounge track “Could It Happen to Me?” finds Ferry holding his old persona in plain sight and tearing him to shreds, finally revealing “an average man” hidden beneath. This is another of Roxy Music’s strongest cuts of the mid-’70s, with Ferry displaying a degree of playful vulnerability throughout its lyrics, with the band coming together to produce a highly sophisticated, well-equipped glamorous feel. with enough heady pop sensibility and electric wickedness to persevere throughout. the decade. Elsewhere, the classic “Both Ends Burning” serves as a precursor to the band’s sonic pursuits of the late 70s and early 80s. Perhaps some of the sound found on 1982 Avalon was born on this particular track, its postmodern exoticism alive and burning. Chiming’s album “Just Another High” takes Roxy Music’s sound back to the glory days of glam, just two or three years behind, with its delirious sensuality drenched in trippy summer guitars, Ferry’s desire from afar infusing an air heavier with blue romance, as the singer confesses, “I’m just another crazy guy/Playing with love was another high/Such a crazy high.”
Even 47 years after the fact, Mermaid stays fresh and the legacy of Roxy Music lives on. UMC/Virgin’s vinyl re-release of the album, along with the rest of the band’s back catalog, is expected to reinvigorate such an influential musical outfit, which has helped advance a number of genres and sub-genres. . Even Roxy Music’s weakest entries are unique experiences in their own right, from each release’s unmistakable sound to its high-fashion-themed “pin-up” style cover art –Mermaid‘s features model Jerry Hall crawling in iconic fashion on seaside rocks near South Stack, Anglesey, WLS.
UMC/Virgins Mermaid the vinyl reissue will make an ideal addition to any music lover’s collection. What Roxy Music has accomplished during this creative peak still deserves admiration, the music still matters, and the scene it was born from is just as intriguing through the prism of history as being there. Mermaid is a great rock album, a relic of popular culture and a miniature encyclopedia of post-glam pleasures. Listen carefully, and you will hear that distant call again. (www.roxymusic.co.uk)
Author’s note: ten/ten
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Average reader rating: 9/ten