I rarely agree with Robert Christgau’s overall take on anything, but he has a real talent for the one-liner that’s way more insightful than any one-liner has any business being. The kind of insight that you learn something from, even if you don’t agree with it. Since Noah has been giving Roxy Music – one of my favorite bands – a very much belated close listen recently,* I was inspired to read Christgau’s take on it. And there it was: the first line to his review of “For Your Pleasure**” is the PERFECT encapsulation of Roxy Music, though I can’t tell you why, or even what it means exactly, and since it’s a diss I obviously don’t agree with it. Well, take that how you will:
These guys make no secret of having a strange idea of a good time, but this isn’t decadent, it’s ridiculous.
(*Hey, I’m not complaining. I’m late to this party too. My dad gave me “Siren” to listen to in junior high, and while I really liked “Love is the Drug” and “Sentimental Fool,” I didn’t get much into it. I gave it a second stab in high school when I bought a Bryan Ferry greatest hits album, but it wouldn’t be until 10 years later that I randomly picked up a copy of “The Early Years” in a record store and fell in love. Roxy Music is truly great – but not immediately accessible by any means. And no, it’s not an acquired taste. It either comes to you or it doesn’t.)
(**Perhaps not coincidentally, the album Morrissey had in mind when, asked in an interview to list 10 “great English albums,” he replied that he was aware of only one “great English album.”)