If you look closely at the credits for “Song To The Siren,” you see some intriguing names involved like David Gilmour and Johnny Greenwood on guitar. You also see Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno and Andy MacKay. Andy Newmark makes appearances on the album as well. The opening sample of “You Can Dance” is from the Roxy Music track “True To Life.” The seductive photographs of Kate Moss that adorn the package, even the clean, crisp font used in the design scream, “This was supposed to be the Roxy Music reunion album.” So, by knowing this is the undercurrent flowing beneath Olympia, you appreciate and respect the recording, but only up to a point. Then those thoughts of what might have been drop into gear.
Does that diminish what’s actually here? When all the elements are right, no. This represents the stylish, classy new wave art rock fans have been longing for, and while Ferry’s voice no longer has the virtue of youth, his relatively clean living has allowed aging to sound dusky and interesting, not decayed and sad. All in all, fans will be impressed and appreciative. They will not, however, easily forget what this solo album represents, or rather, what it might have been.
Olympia is available from Amazon.com.