Music Roundup: Bryan Ferry Is Still the Original ‘Casanova’

 Bryan Ferry has unequivocally defined the meaning of cool for nearly 40 years and the Roxy Music frontman does not disappoint on Olympia, his 13th solo effort and follow up to 2007's Dylanesque. The 10-song stunner features a star-studded list of collaborators like The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, David Gilmour, Flea, and Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, just to name a few. Ferry also reunites with some of his Roxy Music bandmates, including Brian Eno, for some of his sharpest and sexiest material yet. The 65-year-old crooner still has it–slinky basslines, swaggering riffage, and sparkling piano (or synth) arrangements shimmy around his unmistakable vocal quiver.

"You don't want to feel like you're boring," Ferry tells The Daily Telegraph. "I still have a curious bent. I'm still ambitious to do good work. It gets harder."

"I have had a fairly successful career which I can't really complain about but you always feel as an artist that 'nobody gets me'," Ferry adds. "It's one of the spurs to make people create, to try and communicate themselves. Conversations haven't been quite my forte. And music has been a way of trying to be the best I can be."

Olympia is adorned with a Kate Moss glamour shot, once again mirroring Ferry's immaculate approach in reinventing himself. From the red-hot "You Can Dance" and "Shameless," featuring Groove Armada, to his covers of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren" and Traffic's "No Face, No Name, No Number," he does not miss a beat. After all these years, he remains as sophisticated as ever–one of the very few who can still pull it off flawlessly. Q Magazine didn't christen him this year's Q Icon award for nothing.

Bryan Ferry – "You Can Dance"

Bryan Ferry – "Shameless"

Other notable albums out this week:

Avey TareDown There
A Classic EducationHey There Stranger
Crowded HouseThe Very Very Best of Crowded House
The FallUnutterable (Remastered w/bonus disc)
Gold PandaLucky Shiner
Kort (Kurt Wagner & Cortney Tidwell) – Invariable Heartache
Paper AeroplanesThe Day We Ran Into the Sea
The Phantom BandThe Wants
Prefab SproutLet's Change the World with Music
SeelandHow to Live
William OrbitPieces in a Modern Style 2

In other news:

- Yoko Ono recently visited her and John Lennon's old London flat at 34 Montagu Square to honor her late Beatle husband with an English Heritage blue plaque. Ono and Lennon moved into the apartment in 1968 and their controversial nude cover shot for Two Virgins was shot there.

"I am very honored to unveil this blue plaque and thank English Heritage for honoring John in this way," Ono said.

"This particular flat has many memories for me and is a very interesting part of our history. In what would have been John's 70th year, I am grateful to you all for commemorating John and this particular part of his London life, one which spawned so much of his great music and great art."

Ringo Starr went on to purchase the ground floor and basement spaces, while Sir Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix both rented them out separately later on. (NME)

Coldplay, Snow Patrol, and Radiohead are a bunch of snoozers. In a recent poll conducted by Travelodge, they’re just a handful of artists who help listeners fall asleep, with Chris Martin & Co. coming in at the top spot. Research found that 84 percent of people listen to music before hitting the pillow, with one in four individuals falling asleep with their iPod on.

"Results from various sleep studies undertaken with a variety of male and female groups has indicated that listening to soft, relaxing music at bedtime leads to a number of different benefits to a night's sleep," said Stevie Williams, a sleep expert from the Edinburgh Sleep Centre.

Barry White, Mozart and Leona Lewis also made the cut as being some of the most sleep-inducing artists. (The Metro)

- Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman chats with The Quietus about the band's 14th new album, Absolute Dissent. The politically-charged frontman admits that being in this band, nearly three decades on, still does his body good.

"It's good for my health, Killing Joke, and it's good for my psychological well-being," Coleman says. "I mean, it's a social function, and it's stopped us f***ing murdering people. You know? Basically. It's a way of… it's the most sublime system of anger management you could find."

– RIP The Walkman. The clunky plastic machine made for playing cassette tapes first arrived in 1979 and but Sony announced this week that they are ceasing production. Apparently, its termination coincides with the iPod's ninth birthday. Who knew? (The Independent)

One to keep an eye on: The Union Sound Set

Much like The Domino State, London's Union Sound Set gives Britain's current alt-rock pool a well-needed kick in the pants with their vivid guitar-driven anthems. Their debut album, Start/Stop, arrives in the UK this week and it's songs like the poignant "Hiding Places" and "The Longest Calm" that will reel you in for good. Fans of Elbow, Coldplay, and Hope of the States might especially enjoy their spirited call-to-arms "Cause & Resolve." By the way, Edd Simpson, Caspar Williamson and Simon Britcliffe used to call themselves Prego, but with Dan Best and Alex Walker in tow, The Union Sound Set's earnest approach is right on, especially on the rollicking "My Current State (Is Your Latest Objective)." Their aim is true, my friends.

The Union Sound Set – "Hiding Places"

The Union Sound Set – "My Current State (Is Your Latest Objective)"

What are you listening to this week?