Roxy Music Country Life (Limited)
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- Released: September 13, 1999
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Virgin Records Us
Q - 9/99, pp.122-34 stars (out of 5) - "...More adult it may seem, but there remains a darkness at its heart, not least the poisonous 'Casanova', which predicts the downfall of the playboy..."
- 1.The Thrill Of It All
- 2.Three And Nine
- 3.All I Want Is You
- 4.Out Of The Blue
- 5.If It Takes All Night
- 6.Bitter Sweet
- 9.Really Good Time
- 10.Prairie Rose
Roxy Music: Bryan Ferry (vocals, keyboards); Paul Thompson (guitar); Edwin Jobson (strings, keyboards, synthesizer); Andy Mackay (oboe, saxophone); John Gustafson (bass instrument); Phil Manzanera (drums).
From the idiosyncratic art rock of their self-titled debut to the seductive pop of albums like AVALON, Roxy Music covered a lot of ground, but COUNTRY LIFE, which falls somewhere in between, synthesizes all of their strengths. Singer Bryan Ferry's vision of sophisticated, "gentleman" rock emerges on this release, yet the strident, driving quality crucial to the band's early sound still looms large. The combination of textures is exhilarating, and the songwriting--which draws on elements of R&B, cabaret music, and glam rock--is among the band's best.
Standouts include "Bitter-Sweet," a clear homage to the bombast and fading glory of German cabaret music, and the work of Kurt Weill in particular, and "Casanova," a dense funk track carried along on a complex bass line and a wavering synthesizer. The album's last track, "Prairie Rose," leads off with a heavily echoed guitar solo, and features some of Andrew Mackay's most expressive saxophone playing. Everything from the famously controversial cover art (which depicts two very scantily clad models) to the varied, often spectacular music within, marks COUNTRY LIFE as unique. It is one of the finest moments in the band's impressive catalogue.
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