Roxy Music – Avalon

Some imagined that by Avalon, Roxy Music had degenerated into non-ironic AOR. But the sounds on this, the biggest-selling album of their career, are as avant-garde as anything they'd ever done, just more subtle, Ferry having exchanged art attack for ambient seduction. Remember this came out in spring 1982, as New Pop was peaking—it's as if the Godfather had returned to show the rookies how elegant isolation should really be expressed. Throughout there are expressions of Ferry's uncertainty, plus evidence they'd been listening to Joy Division and Jan Garbarek.

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Some imagined that by Avalon, Roxy Music had degenerated into non-ironic AOR. But the sounds on this, the biggest-selling album of their career, are as avant-garde as anything they’d ever done, just more subtle, Ferry having exchanged art attack for ambient seduction. Remember this came out in spring 1982, as New Pop was peaking?it’s as if the Godfather had returned to show the rookies how elegant isolation should really be expressed. Throughout there are expressions of Ferry’s uncertainty, plus evidence they’d been listening to Joy Division and Jan Garbarek. This new edition magnifies the contributions of Ferry, Mackay and Manzanera. The songs bring to mind what the New Romantics might have achieved?the discreet funk of “The Space Between” outdoes Simple Minds. Best of all is “To Turn You On”, arguably Ferry’s finest song, an ominous plea to the Other which is really a plea to himself.

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