Ok, this is the album that took seven years to make, was poorly received at the time, and has been the subject of mocking reviews ever since-Ferry's supposed 'White Album' or 'Be Here Now'. Even Ferry himself, having spent all his money on it, seems ambiguous about it in retrospect. The critical knives were out from the moment it was learnt that over 100 musicians had been involved in it's making. You know the jibes this was headed for-'vanity project', 'souless', 'empty'. But then you LISTEN to it (and it is an album of so many layers that it demands close and repeated listening, preferably on a very high quality sound system) and realise that this album is actually a masterpiece, and that if it took seven years to make, then that was justified. It's an infinitely superior piece of work to the comparisons made above. It's actually very bold-it doesn't aim for 'lows' or highs' or sharp contrasts, but to generate a dreamlike state, akin to being taken very slowly by gondola through an exceptionally beautiful part of Venice. It's not an album imitating other styles of music either-there are no blues, no country tracks, no pale rock and roll pastiches here. Through a mix of sound manipulation, subtle guitars and electronic drumbeats, this album instead creates it's own genre. On exceptionally beautiful tracks, like 'The 39 Steps' or 'Your Painted Smile', it's literally like being sucked WITHIN an oil painting by an old master, literally dazzled and knocked out by each continuously overlapping yet subtle and extraordinary wave of sound. Do NOT ignore this album.