Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Bryan Ferry 5: The Bride Stripped Bare

The post-breakup album looms large in rock ‘n roll, wherein an artist pours his or her soul into music to exorcize any demons that come with losing the one thing money and fame can’t buy. Bryan Ferry was said to have been so bereft after being jilted by Jerry Hall for Mick Jagger that The Bride Stripped Bare was the inspired result.
Except for the barest disco influence, and a reduction of camp, the album fits alongside his previous albums, with and without Roxy Music. This is particularly surprising considering that two of the key elements among the players are American—Waddy Wachtel on lead guitar and Jerry Marrotta on drums.
He’s still determined to bend covers to his will, as demonstrated by the de-funked “Hold On (I’m Coming)”, “That’s How Strong My Love Is”, and “Take Me To The River” (a year before Talking Heads). J.J. Cale’s “The Same Old Blues” is slowed down and swampier, though the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On” is an inspired choice, Waddy even replicating some of Lou Reed’s solos from the original. His rendition of the traditional “Carrickfergus” seems restrained to these ears; we’ve come to expect more passion.
His originals stand out, from the opening “Sign Of The Times” through the infectious “Can’t Let Go”. One striking departure is “When She Walks In The Room”, wherein the strings go smoothly from chamber music to contemporary, just as “This Island Earth” provides a suitably spacey conclusion.
Of his solo albums thus far, The Bride Stripped Bare is probably the most consistent, despite its apparent randomness. It’s no Blood On The Tracks, but who’d expect that?

Bryan Ferry The Bride Stripped Bare (1978)—3

No comments:

Post a Comment