Top critical review
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Weak roxy album proves they are only flesh & blood
on August 22, 1998
Roxy Music had a profound effect on newer bands like, Talking Heads, The Cars and ABC, so it comes as no surprise that these more successful bands had an influence on Roxy as well--to the detriment of their music making. FLESH & BLOOD has the fingerprints of the Cars hit making machine all over it.
"Over you", "Same old scene" and "NO strange delight" all sound like it could have been an outtake from PANORAMA or CANDY-O. It was clear that this album was a hoped for commerical breakthrough in the U.S.. This influence created a weird deja vu effect on this album. This wouldn't have been as disconcerting if not for the fact that the material was, for the most part, the weakest written by Bryan Ferry and company since SIREN. In fact, SIREN is a better album by virtue of the fact that it is Roxy imitating themselves and not another band influenced by them.
There are some highlights and a handful of good tracks among them "My only love", the strange sleepy reading of Wilson Pickett's "In the midnight Hour", the yearning "Oh yeah"(the album's first single) and even the Cars inspired "Over you". The weak tracks out number the stronger material, though, and this feels like a transitional album, perhaps even a holding operation until the breakthrough of AVALON.
The production by Roxy & Rhett Davies sounds extremely dated and hasn't aged as well as other Roxy albums. The b side outtake "Lover" might have been an interesting addition as a bonus track if Warners/E.G. had thought to add it(in fact this track written by Ferry & Manzanera would have been one of the best songs on the album--one wonders why it wasn't added to replace the lethargic reading of the Byrd's "Eight miles high" or "Running Wild").
This is a Roxy album that is of interest to completist and those that have earlier albums. If you enjoy AVALON, this album is probably the closest in terms of style and sound than any of their other albums(with the exception of the more experimental STRANDED), so would be worth purchasing if that is your frame of reference.
Next time the guys would do better.