From - - This Is London - Fri 12th Jan

From This Is London
AN EARLY LISTEN TO ... BRYAN FERRY Dylanesque (Virgin)

There were two Dylan covers on Bryan Ferry's last solo album, 2002's Frantic, and on 5 March he capably attempts 11 more. Cover versions often signify artistic laziness, but Ferry has made them an important feature of his work away from Roxy Music, and in this case he has rightly compared the task to "an actor tackling Shakespeare". The originals are complex and strong enough to withstand endless reinterpretation.

There's nothing too radical here - the vitriolic Positively 4th Street becomes a smouldering piano ballad, while All Along the Watchtower owes as much to Hendrix's famed version as its composer's and The Times They are A-Changin' rocks politely - but Ferry is in fine voice throughout. Recorded in just a week, this is the sound of one of pop's most refined men kicking back and relaxing in the company of a legend.

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