11 January 2006

roxy music - "a really good time" (from the country life lp, available for purchase here.)

"a really good time" takes me back a really long way. in college, when i was first becoming educated in the ways of the net, portions of the song featured in my .sig file; had i been listening to roxy music in high school, a year earlier, less techologically adept, i might have written the words in the margins of my notebook.

the song is arguably a corollary to the previous album's "mother of pearl," in which bryan ferry bears his soul to his vanity mirror. on "a really good time," the music begins harsh and imposing, w/ hints of the germanic tones found several songs earlier. ferry proves masterly at finding faults in others, pulling back the curtain and exposing what ails them. the music gradually softens as one senses that he's not singing about anyone but himself; he drops the curtain in the fifth stanza, a particular favorite of the eighteen year-old me : "you know i don't talk much except to myself / cause i've not much to say and there's nobody else / who's ready and willing and able to know me, i guess."

just as important to the impressionable, young me as the lyric was the music and the ferry persona. the music is elegant, by turns distant and sympathetic; it was and remains, to an extent, unlike anything else i'd heard (the disciples get the haughtiness, but little of the heart). bryan ferry himself is a figure still much emulated--in my secret life, i'm vetting half-naked women for album covers--sharing as i do his interest in tin pan alley, cultivation, and supermodels. at the end of the day, i'm probably closer to brian eno--and a brian eno w/o a feather boa, at that--but songs like "a really good time," while recalling teenage gaucheness, suggest that glamour and sophistication are still w/in arm's reach, if only in one's daydreams.

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