Thursday, 18 October 2018

Bryan Ferry - Taxi (1993)

  

Released April 1993

Recorded in London

This was a bit of a “treading water” album from Bryan Ferry, after “Boys and Girls" and "BĂȘte Noire”, which were full albums of original material, this was a collection of cover versions, apart from one song. They are all pretty well delivered, in a very laid-back, bass reverb-heavy way. Lounge bar music with a bit of resonance. Within a year, the “Mamouna” album of originals was released, albeit performed in the same laid-back style as this album. It is a most enjoyable listen, nevertheless. I know there will be people who say "how can you listen to this from the man who wrote all those early Roxy Music songs". Fair enough, I suppose, but I like both. I like early Roxy Music. I like this too. So there you go.

“I Put a Spell On You” begins with some weird, whistling background noises until the funky-ish guitar kicks in and the Ferry joins with his smooth as satin voice.  “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” is given classic Ferry treatment - smooth, slick, soulful and laid-back but very appealing. He does this sort of thing so effectively. “Answer Me” is done in exactly the same fashion. It is beautifully seductive though.

Doris Troy’s relative rarity “Just One Look” is aso turned into a late-night, mysterious-sounding piece of intuitive seduction. Fontella Bass’s “Rescue Me” is no longer a soul thumper, but more of a beguiling groove. These covers really are quite unique. Very typically Bryan Ferry from this era, but also giving them something new. It is so relaxing as to be almost comatose.

“The Girl Of My Best Friend” is also slowed-down to typical Ferry pace and it is delivered in true laid-back, entrancing fashion. The same applies to the mysterious Velvet Undergound song, “All Tomorrow’s Parties”. In fact, Ferry’s version is almost more beguiling and haunting than Nico’s orginal. It suits his voice perfectly. The backing is suitably seductive. “Amazing Grace” is given a shuffling beat and some funky-ish guitar and organ parts reminiscent of Ferry’s cover of “You Are My Sunshine” on “Another Time Another Place”.

The title track doesn’t break the mould at all, it is played in exactly the same style and is very like the material that would appear on “Mamouna”. It actually sounds like a Ferry track, but isn’t. The final number, “Because You’re Mine” is a Ferry composition but is a short, relatively ambient but inconsequential instrumental. It is worth giving this inventive album a listen, despite its relatively homogenous sound.

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