More Than This: The Best of Bryan Ferry + Roxy Music
Stylish, dramatic, vulnerable, romantic, eccentric: Bryan Ferry’s style is hard to put into words even when it's neatly compacted in the 20 songs of More Than This. Ferry went through a period of tremendous maturation on the years outlined here—from 1972’s “Virginia Plain” to 1993’s “I Put a Spell on You”—but it seemed he was always working to express the same feeling. His passion was for the sort of ineffable excitement that makes you feel you could stay up every night, and also its corollary—a longing so sweet and consuming you feel you could fall over and drift away on a soft wind. Musically, he started with the interplanetary boogie of “Street Life” and evolved into the disco funk of “Love Is the Drug” before settling into the ethereal pop music of “More Than This” and “Avalon.” His reading of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” shows his ability to deliver an honest power ballad without schmaltz. He learned from the greats: Bob Dylan and R&B were his standbys. His reading of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You” drains the song of its anger and turns it into a work of total lovelorn intoxication.