I only know one Roxy Music album, For Your Pleasure. I like it, I don’t love it. But one of the things I like about – perhaps the thing I like about it most – is the artiness of it, provided primarily by Eno and Manzanera (to my ears). I assumed that when Eno left the artiness did too, but according to reviews, it didn’t leave just yet. Not until this album. And that makes me sad.
This is certainly as mainstream as art rock gets without ceasing to be art rock. It’s accessible (as these things go), its often danceable, it’s relatively catchy. It features so little of the overt weirdness I associated with (early) Roxy Music. It’s just mainstream pop rock, far as I can tell.
But, that being said, it is good mainstream pop rock. Ferry is a decent writer, his lyrics are fine and his melodies are just left field enough to be interesting. And, of course, there’s saxophone and violin to keep things slightly off kilter. (And the occasional burst of art rock guitar. Really occasional.)
But I just don’t love it. I can’t. It sounds to me like an interesting band in the process of making itself uninteresting.