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4.7 out of 5 stars61
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 13 February 2004
I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that these songs, and others of their ilk, have an important place in the history of western music. I am sure that these tunes will be hummed and played long after most of Benjamin Britten's entire output is forgotten.

It may have been the attitude of British musicologists of a few decades ago to sneer at this repertoire (Porter, Weill, Rogers & Hammerstein et al) - see The Shorter Oxford Dictionary of Music in the 1960s. But, folks, they were WRONG.

The arrangements on this disc are stunningly good. Varied, musical, interesting, appropriate, and beautifully played. (And see previous reviewer's comment on Ondes Martenot!) The team behind these arrangements are to be heartily congratulated for being fully in sympathy with the original composers.

Bryan Ferry's voice is not perhaps what you would call lyric Baritone. Yet he performs these classics in a manner that is entirely listenable and appropriate, and nicely balanced with the ensemble. Everything is beautifully under control.

It is a delight to hear this repertoire receiving such sympathetic and high-quality treatment from a contemporary artist.

Buy it, and play it continually.
11 comment26 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 December 2000
This is an absolutely stunning album. Each track is beautifully produced and extremely evocative of a bygone age while still retaining a very modern appeal. I am a Bryan Ferry fan of course but I am sure that very few people could listen to this album without falling under its spell. The musical arrangements are quite brilliant and absolutely spot on for every track. Bryan Ferry's voice is perfect for all these songs and together with the quite superb backing combines to make this album one of the all time greats. Tremendously well chosen songs - all outstandingly well interpreted. My very favourite has to be"Where or when" but this version of "Falling in Love Again" is a real classic. Five stars - I would give it many more!
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on 26 November 2001
I cannot recommend this too strongly. These songs suit Brian Ferry's idiosyncratic voice down to the ground, he displays a genuine love of the music and sings the tunes with style and sensitivity: I defy anyone to find a more poignant "Miss Otis Regrets". Equally rewarding are the original (when was the last time you heard an Ondes Martinot?) and beautifully considered arrangements and the truly wonderful playing of the band. A gem.
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on 20 January 2001
I have always loved the thirties era and was first attracted to this CD by the song content. I have always been a fan of Bryan's but was sceptical of his ability to do these type of songs justice. Boy was I wrong! this album is now my all time favourite. It verges on perfection. The arrangements are masterpieces and his voice is so smooth it eases all your stresses away, especially when accompanied by a nice glass of wine and low lights! It is almost impossible to pick out the best of this wonderful collection. But for me the haunting "Where or When" has to take top place."I'm in the Mood for Love" is a very unusual version, with a seductive French poem being spoken in the background. This CD really is a treat for the ears.
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on 11 January 2002
As a life long Roxy/Ferry fan I had been pretty disappointed with some of Ferry's latter output (Taxi/Bette Noir) so my expectations for this record were fairly low. But I'm glad to say this is a great album in the tradition of "These Foolish Things" or "Another Time, Another Place". Like those records it consists of Ferry's interpretation of classic songs - although typically in this case from an earlier era. There is an inspired mixture of upbeat numbers as well as more intimate songs to woo you. The musicianship is fantastic and is sympathetically produced - listen close and you will hear musicians snap their fingers. Ferry's voice is outstanding and also benefits from thoughtful production values. I listen to this record regularly and I think I like it more each time I hear it. If you've also been disappointed with some of Mr. Ferry's 1990's output then this record will restore your faith.
0Comment6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Bryan Ferry's inconsistent solo career is liberally peppered with albums that see him constructing what he calls 'readymades' - covers, in other words. This album of ballads and tin pan alley classics from the early part of the twentieth century is one of his better efforts. A perusal of the track listing almost reads like the playlist from David Jacobs' Radio 2 show, but, in terms of the arrangements and Ferry's assured vocals, it never strays more than ankle-deep in schmaltz. Ferry's voice is growing mellow as he gets older - he's long since abandoned the heavy vibrato of his early Roxy Music days, but his less is more approach is deeply appealing. His ear for details - including old fashioned 'surface noise' and the spareness of the arrangements allow Ferry to play the role of a thirties crooner with some verve, and he definitely sounds like he's enjoying himself. Light years removed from 'Mother of Pearl' or 'For Your Pleasure', of course, but not without charm, classiness, or a certain understated elegance. My octogenarian mother likes it - and why wouldn't she - as one of the lyrics goes : "moonlight and love song, never out of date..." - what's not to like?
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on 27 December 1999
After a five year absence Ferry has come up with possibly his best ever solo work.His voice is on top form and very melancholic on some tracks.The arrangements are straight from the 30s and the better for it.The easy option would have been to use synthesisers etc to clutter the songs,instead Ferry's voice and the beautiful orchestration shine through.All in all he has emerged as the coolest of the 70s survivors and is still exploring unusual territory.
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on 22 February 2004
I must frankly admit that I bought this CD quite by chance, not at all knowing what it would be like...
What an amazing discovery ! The entire album is just enchanting, and I cannot find the right words to decribe it. It says a great deal about the unbelievable versatility of this genial performer, who can sing just about anything, from rock'n'roll to swing music from the nineten-twenties and thirties , as this recording so well demonstrates...
Bryan Ferry is also accompanied by some highly talented musicians.
(Particularly interesting is the use of "Ondes Martenot", also used by the great Jacques Brel in some of his early recordings).
This album is a gem and should appeal to a great variety of listeners - not only Bryan Ferry fans, but also those millions of perhaps slightly older people who still enjoy that beautiful, nostalgic music.
Buy it: I hope you enjoy it as much as I did !
0Comment12 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 December 1999
I bought the CD purely for the cover of 'Falling in love again' but imagine my surprise! Listening to this CD took me straight back into the past, an era of steam trains and cigars, glamour and high society. I loved it and have inflicted it on all my friends too and all the girls love it. The songs are beautifully romantic, and respectful, expressing the love sentiment in such a powerful way without cheapening it. Buy this, set the table with candlelight, fix dinner and... you can't go wrong. No wonder Australia chose the opening song for its millenium celebration( though the version sung was not as good as Ferry's) As Time Goes By... how appropriate.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 December 1999
Buying this CD, what a mistake. Bought it with mainly my girlfriend in mind. Since then it's been playing every morning when I leave and every evening when I come home. When I call home it's in the background. We have even had a one-CD-party playing only this. Jokes aside (although the above is true) this is a great CD arranged by a true musician. His versions are exquisite and can compete with other greats on equal terms. Cole Porter would be quite proud I'm sure. It may be songs from the 30s entitled As Time Goes By, but it's timeless quality. (And I not old, nor a fanatic Bryan Ferry fan, nor a particular 30s fan)
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