After a couple of albums of accomplished but uninspiring dance pop, Roxy Music refocused for a fitting swansong to their career. Avalon isn’t a return to their wild younger years, but it’s a mature and elegant album. It’s slow and languid, with the atmosphere provided by Bryan Ferry’s tasteful synths, while Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera support him with gentle melodies.
Opener ‘More Than This’ is a classy pop single with a beautiful melody, easily the most significant recording from Roxy Music’s second phase. The rest of the album doesn’t quite meet the same high bar, but it’s a consistent set; the gently pulsing ‘True To Life’ has always been a favourite, ‘To Turn You On’ is writhing and elegant, while Andy Mackay’s yearning saxophone on ‘Tara’ is a fitting farewell to a great band.
I don’t think it surpasses any of the albums from Roxy Music’s initial run, but Avalon is a surprisingly fulfilling final chapter in their story.