Hipper students of 1980s pop might pretend that Joy Division and the Smiths had a monopoly on melancholia, but for the older, more suave brooders, nothing could match the stylized desolation of Roxy Music's last album. Avalon was recorded in the wake of the band's hit version of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy." Although that song isn't on Avalon, its tortured shadow looms large over "While My Heart Is Still Beating," the title track, and the unlikely Balearic anthem "More Than This." If time has been kind to Bryan Ferry's crumpled Armani chic, it hasn't exactly been vicious to his back catalog: Avalon sounds even more sumptuous now that the CD age has caught up with Rhett Davis's pristine production.
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