There’s a school of thought that 1975’s Siren is a step down from Roxy Music’s first four albums, and lyrically it’s less sharp, as Ferry dwells on clichés of cocktail bars and broken hearts. But they’re mining the same sophisticated and lush textures from the last couple of albums; even as the bass lines are becoming more dance oriented, Roxy Music remain a classy unit. Paul Thompson in particular shines; he propels the otherwise limpid ‘Nightingale’, while ‘Just Another High’ hits the stratosphere when his drums kick in,
The lead off song and single ‘Love Is The Drug’ is the only song from Roxy Music’s first phase that I’ve ever heard on the radio, and its vibrant and catchy. ‘Sentimental Fool’ opens with two minutes of atmospheric synths and guitar before Ferry’s gorgeous falsetto hits, while ‘She Sells’ bops along on a Ferry’s old timey piano and Thompson’s propulsive drumming. Manzanera’s guitar takes centre stage on ‘Whirlwind’ while ‘Just Another High’ is a climactic closer.
After Siren, Roxy Music took a three year hiatus – they made some good music after they reformed, but nothing that reached the heady excitement of their initial period.