Bryan Ferry’s “The Jazz Age”

Brian Ferry has a new album out. Ferry is of course not new to exploring his parents’ and grandparents’ music: he has dabbling quite convincingly long before it became a fashionable late-career move by some (i.e. Rod Stewart). Ferry, I think, did a damn fine job of  playing the crooner on his first two solo albums. (This is the road Bowie could have gone down post Scary Monsters – he had the superior voice – a case in point Wild is the Wind – but instead insisted upon playing the Jesus of Cool role way too long, snuffing out his career’s longevity). The problem I have with Ferry’s album is not that it’s bad per se but that it just seems “soulless” – the songs seem to have been run through a “Jazz generator” giving the sort of ersatz gramophone sound that rockers have occasionally employed (Paul McCartney for one). Any pop ditty can be “classicalized” or “Jazzified.”  This doesn’t necessarily give any more gravitas to a piece.

Judge for yourself – The Guardian is freely streaming the album.