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Album Review

Bryan Ferry, 'Olympia'

October 25, 2010

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There’s always been something slightly decadent about listening to Bryan Ferry’s urbane croon, like rolling around in 600-thread-count sheets after a night of Manhattans and clubbing. The former Roxy Music frontman doesn’t disappoint on his 13th solo album, a mesmerizing swirl of pulsating guitars, whooshing keys, and lite-funk undertones. Several friends — including former Roxy Music brethren Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, and Andrew Mackay — lend Ferry a helping hand in striking a balance between the dance floor, the boudoir, and the salon. The Scissor Sisters brighten up the already catchy “Heartache by Numbers,’’ a shivery ode to a knee-weakening object of affection. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour stamps the languid “Me Oh My’’ with his lyrical guitar panache, underpinning a particularly affecting vocal full of melancholy breaks and whispers. A Ferry-ized version of Traffic’s “No Face, No Name, No Number’’ nicely tips its cap to the original with some liquid guitar psychedelia courtesy of Chris Spedding. And invitations to move are irresistible thanks to the slinky bass work of Marcus Miller, particularly on “BF Bass (Ode to Olympia).’’ (Out today)

SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “Heartache by Numbers’’