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Monday, February 10, 2014

Bryan Ferry "Another Time, Another Place"



Bryan Ferry - Another Time, Another Place
CD, Album, Remastered
Virgin

The second Bryan Ferry album, and on the surface, it appears to follow the first, in that it is mostly all covers, except the title song “Another Time, Another Place.” The album opens with “The ‘In’ Crowd” and this mod soul classic is re-imagined by Ferry.  Here in Ferry’s hands the song becomes a manifesto.  In other words, it is pretty much what the listener imagines the world of Bryan Ferry is like.  “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” is another totally suitable piece of work, due that Ferry has a real understanding of the Great American Songbook.  He knows how to be subversive with the mixture of effortless elegance, with his much studied approach to that subject.  The beauty of this song sounds like Ferry wrote it.   The lyrics are genius.  The image of a heart in flames, which in turn causes the eyes to burn from the smoke, is a great visual ‘romantic’ image.

Sadly the rest of the album doesn’t match the two songs above.  The thing is I think he sees these songs as irony-free, but the enjoyment of a Bryan Ferry project is the projection of his pop aesthetic on a song form.  At least with his solo projects.   By no means is this a failure of an album, but compared to his initial solo, and of course Roxy Music, it is minor stuff.   Well, that’s true till  we get to the end of the album, when all of a sudden we get an original song by Ferry.  Not only an original, but a masterpiece by Ferry.  “Another Time, Another Place” is the iconic Ferry subject matter of time standing still, which is woebegone island for him.


Ferry doing covers as a solo project makes complete sense to me, but I am surprised that he put an original song on this album.   Even though it is the best thing cut, why not save this song for a Roxy project?