Roxy Music
Siren


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sepstrup USER (20 Reviews)
February 12th, 2007 | 48 replies


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bryan Ferry’s idiosyncratic vocals tackle a catchier, disco-tinged sound than Roxy Music are known for without compromising the band’s artistic merit.

As a band Roxy Music fall into that category of relatively underground, critically acclaimed bands with feverish cult followings. Several of their albums are considered classics, and they had a huge influence on punk, post-punk and new wave artists. Tackling experimental and progressive rock along with irresistible pop-songs, Roxy Music have covered considerable musical ground in their time. Their line-up has changed extensively over the years, but the most prominent members have been Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno, both of which (though especially Eno) have had influential solo careers as well. The tension between the two Br(i/y)ans’ creative ideas led to Eno’s departure after the group’s second album, For Your Pleasure. Brian Ferry’s pop sensibilities then became the prevalent characteristic, as opposed to Eno’s (relatively) more experimental approach to song writing.

Clearly, Eno’s departure gave Ferry more creative freedom to do what he wanted with the band. While this could be perceived as a bad thing, several of Roxy Music’s post-Eno albums seem to be as highly regarded as their debut and sophomore attempts. With Ferry in control of the reigns, Roxy Music bring us a more accessible piece of work than For Your Pleasure for instance in Siren. That’s not to say that their sound is watered-down, merely altered, and Siren is a tremendous piece of work in itself.

The catchy, disco-tinged opener “Love is the Drug” was the band’s first top 40 hit in the states, and for good reason. It’s a really accessible song with the bouncy, head-bop-inducing bassline, and immediately catchy chorus. The lyrics are simple and memorable and fit the general theme of the album, with lyrics like: ”Oh oh catch that buzz / Love is the drug I’m thinking of”. The general tempo of the album varies from song to song. In terms of tempo, the album offers a nice variety, with outrageously catchy, danceable pop songs like “Love is the Drug” and “Whirlwind”, but also a number of dramatic ballads.

Bryan Ferry is very much at the centre of the album, his lyrics and crooning vocals binding the album together. His voice is often vibrato-heavy, at times sounding like a toned-down Antony Hegarty (from Antony and the Johnsons) especially on “Sentimal Fool”, one of the album’s highlights. After an eerie instrumental introduction lasting more than two minutes, Ferry’s unmistakable, high-pitched vocals kick in. Again the lyrics revolve around love, from a rather negative perspective: ”Sentimental fool / Knowing that fate is cruel / You ought to forget it / Yes it’s true / I’ve seen what love can do / But I don’t regret it”. It’s a dramatic song, greatly amplified by a subtle synthesizer playing in the background. The closer “Just another High” is very similar to the opener “Love is the Drug” in terms of lyrical symbolism, comparing drug use and love. Similarities end there though, as “Just another High” is a stirring, downbeat song in the vein of “She Sells”, a fitting conclusion to the album.

While the album has a fairly dark lyrical theme, it remains playful and easily enjoyable. Bryan Ferry’s vocals do equally well on the catchy pop songs and beautiful ballads. The bass and guitar throughout the album seemingly owes much to the disco genre, making Siren a less serious and more carefree than an album like For Your Pleasure. The cohesive lyrical themes makes this an album to listen to in its entirety, and makes Siren a very strong piece of work as a whole. It is easily accessible, but still possesses enough subtleties to draw the listeners in and keep them coming back. With no bad songs and several exceptional ones, Siren is fantastic piece of work.



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user ratings (89)
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3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Roxy is the drug, i'm thinking of....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jim
February 12th 2007


5110 Comments


the shiznit
/votes

AlienEater
February 12th 2007


716 Comments


cool review

roxy music are pretty good

Zebra
Moderator
February 12th 2007


2647 Comments


Country Life is really good stuff, I think Eno produced it but I'm not 100% sure. Good work, I'll eventually give it a chance.

Sepstrup
February 12th 2007


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've only heard this and For Your Pleasure, but I'm really liking them.

Kaleid
February 12th 2007


725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You always get the same level of detail into your reviews that I do, only in half the length

/jealous

Zeb, I think Eno left after the second album in 72/73. He wouldn't have been around (though correct me if i'm wrong).

Sep, have you listened to 'Avalon' yet? It weird for a group to produce their best work on their swansong, but I would definitely recommend it before the likes of 'For Your Pleasure' and even 'Country Life'

Sepstrup
February 13th 2007


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, I've only listened to For Your Pleasure and this. I'll be sure to check it out.



You always get the same level of detail into your reviews that I do, only in half the length



/jealous




Heh, thanks a lot, even if I don't quite agree

clercqie
May 25th 2011


6519 Comments


for the fans:

http://soundcloud.com/bryanferry/soulwax-mega-mix

TwigTW
November 23rd 2016


2054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

7 comments in 10 years :-/ needs a bump.

Digging: Ryley Walker - Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

budgie
November 23rd 2016


782 Comments


the s/t is one of my all time favorites albums, though i haven't really checked out any of their others, other than avalon, which is cool.

Digging: Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions - Until The Hunter

TwigTW
November 23rd 2016


2054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you love the first one, then you should definitely check out the second--even better, and it's the last one with Eno in the band.

budgie
November 23rd 2016


782 Comments


i'll check it out but i really, really, really, really don't think i can like any album more than i like roxy's debut.

Jethro42
November 23rd 2016


14377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listening to this album atm. Sentimental Fool, Both Ends Burning and Love is the Drug are the titties.



And I agree both first albums rule.

TwigTW
November 23rd 2016


2054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ha ha budgie, well... honestly, there is nothing else like the Roxy debut--so you might be right.

TwigTW
November 23rd 2016


2054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Both Ends Burning kills me Jethro--never get tired of it.

Jethro42
November 23rd 2016


14377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There are couple of songs that are kind of fillers...I forgot about it.

TwigTW
November 23rd 2016


2054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hear what you are saying. There are tracks I regularly skip, but when I am in the right mood it is great from start to finish.

Jethro42
November 23rd 2016


14377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah you're right. Could It Happen To Me is probably the weakest, and it's still not bad.



I'll relisten to both For Your Pleasure and Country Life tomorrow.

budgie
November 23rd 2016


782 Comments


no filler on the debut

Jethro42
November 23rd 2016


14377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^Agreed. They flirt with improvisation here and there, and it's alright.

TwigTW
November 23rd 2016


2054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

C P L 5 9 3 H !



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