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Reviews: Bryan Ferry: Boys & Girls

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Reviews: 10

Review by PaulHoncoop February 12, 2005 (11 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
As good as the Avalon (Roxy Music) sacd what the quality of sonics concerns.
Another great job from the producer at that time; Rhett Davies.
Great solo album from Brian with many guest musicians as Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, Nile Rodgers and so on. Boys and Girls contains the hits Slave to love, Windswept and Don't stop the dance.
The surroundmix sound sublime and detailed. Brian's voice is warm and well placed with the music.
No bonustracks on this one, after 38 minutes the enjoying is over....weep....
In the booklet you find all the songlyrics, well done.

Performance; i always called this album Avalon II. Brian's best solo album.

Sonics; Great, great just great!

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Review by Rob April 16, 2005 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Just got it from the UK. Excellent sonics. The multi-channel mix really brings the music to life but is not overdone. The best of the Ferry solo efforts IMO.

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Review by dogville001 July 28, 2005 (3 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Wonderful record, awful recording. The sacd version isn't worth buying. Metallic and crisp sound. It's true that the recording is very old, and belongs to a decade whose recordings are mostly quite bad.
regards

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Review by hawk November 18, 2005 (3 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Yes I agree with one the reviewers below abou the relative low quality of the sonics of this album.
When you hear what people like Bob Ludwig have done with the Dire Straits' "Brother in Arms" albim,
you realise what is possible and that this album does not add much to the discrete Multi-channel
SACD experience. So,even thoughthe performance may be good, yo wouldn't be missing much by
missing out on this SACD album.

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Review by StyleAndEntertainmen November 21, 2005 (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
A quick comment regarding the sonics of this album. It sounds good in MC. That said it does have a kind of "echoy closed in feeling, especially the opening cut. The cymbals sound a bit metallic on some songs, but since it's not harsh on all songs it's hard to tell if it's intentional or not. As with the Avalon album it's just a wee bit over produced (unless you like that kind of thing) but it works pretty darn well here too. Speaking of which I gave Avalon 5 stars and this one does get fewer stars. The difference is that songs are not quite as engaging, it loses points on originality, and the sonics are less detailed than its' predecessor. But really, how you feel about Avalon will be how you feel about the music on this album. Pretty sure extra attention was put on "Slave To Love" as this song sounds darned good... the vocals have more presence, and the guitar cuts through nicely at the end.

So look - it's unfair to give this album 2 stars for sonics. True, its' not Brothers in Arms, DOTA, Cooke at the Copa signature quality. But then neither is it Toto IV, Journey's Greatest Hits yelling at the speakers crap either. It's a respectable, listenable, thoroughly enjoyable 3 or 4 stars MC experience that is not the last word in high fidelity sound.

Recommended

StyleAndEntertainment

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Review by steve e October 24, 2007 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
An amazing 5.1 sound experience. Mesmerizing! A great companion or compliment to Roxy Music's "Avalon"
The reviewer that said the sound wasn't good, well God bless him, because it sounds great to my ears.

This is in my top five SACD's I own list.

1. Avalon -Roxy Music (5.1 and stereo)
2. Let It Bleed -Rolling Stones (stereo)
3. Oh Mercy -Bob Dylan (stereo)
4. Boys and Girls - Bryan Ferry (5.1 and stereo)
5. Madman Across the Water -Elton John (5.1 and stereo)

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Review by fredblue May 20, 2009 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Now this is a very curious disc.. first off, it is LOUD!

Secondly, I could not for the life of me understand the lack of a "special edition" status or "20th anniversary" reissue, as the timing was perfect and, in my humble opinion, the album deserved a higher profile release, not least as it features such a clutch of impressive guest artists! Not complaining, as it's on Multi-channel SACD after all, mastered/mixed and engineered by the legendary Bob Ludwig and Bob Clearmountain no less which is (regrettably..) better treatment than 99% of catalogue releases have ever and doubtless will ever receive!!

I guess I am also alluding in part to better physical packaging than the bizarre "upside-down" graphics on the booklet/jewel box inlay! I have no idea what happened there? I presume somebody fell asleep at the printers and it was too late to rectify the artwork once it was all pressed up?!

Now, to get down to 'brass tacks'.. the tracks! Everything in the mix is over-loud and it is to the detriment of the subtle touches of the music, which itself is great! Not as superb for me as "Frantic", especially as it's production values date it somewhat, whereas the more recent albums have a lovely earthy sound without the artificial '80's sheen and drum sound... "The Chosen One" being the worst culprit on here by a mile..that drum sound just screams "1985" at me! This is still for me a very solid, very enjoyable set of songs, however.

Also, if I can level any major criticism at this disc, it is that it is all a bit too bass-heavy for me.. particularly on the title track! It's unfortunate because this is something I have personally spent hours and hours tweaking my system so that the LFE rumbles away nicely (with a view to not overpowering or colouring the sound mix, while also not annoying the rest of the house/street..!!) and have spent yet more time tweaking to ensure that the bass-management of my receiver works as efficiently with my speakers and room as a combination of audyssey and my ears will allow!

And yet.. this still sounds boomy and over loud, even at -40db, which is ordinarily a confortable level for my M/C SACD's ...and way too low a volume level for the "Ziggy Stardust.." SACD.. but you'll have to read my recent review here on SA-CD.net for my thoughts on that!

The mix itself though is nicely spread, with a balance of isolation in the rears as well as ambience, say for example the sax in "Don't Stop The Dance" which has a little "bleed" over into the other channels, whereas the backing vocals are rooted firmly in the rears and it's all very effective and immersive. It's just a shame those backing vocalists are so LOUD in the mix! They aren't so overpowering in the 2-channel mix!

That said, certain tracks naturally lend themselves to such an "aggressive" use of the rear channels with "A Wasteland" taking on something of a cinematic/widescreen quality to the presentation. The soundstage on that track seems much more open than on most of the other album tracks.

Back to the rear vocal activity, I'd add that "Windswept", and the title track, are the only times in this mix the backing vocals (actually Ferry's own harmonising and/or backup vocals rather than the boys/girls!) in the rear channels sound as if they have been mixed at equal volume to the main vocals, rather than overwhelming them!

In fact, I'd go so far as to say "A Wasteland" and "Windswept" are probably the most effective tracks on this album in M/C, for me. They just work in surround, perhaps because they more naturally lend themselves to such a presentation... while things like "Slave to Love" seem to lose some of their intimacy with the over effusive mix.

Fairly hard to sum up as, like I said at the beginning, it's a bit of a curiosity this disc... I'm going to give it 4 *'s for the album itself, which I do enjoy, though not as much as Ferry's "Frantic".. and I'll award it 3&1/2 *'s for the M/C Mix. I do recommend it, I'd just grab "Frantic" first, then this.

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Review by Newby Sacd March 12, 2010 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I purchased this Sacd as it was easily available, compared to Avalon (Roxy Music), waiting for the moment when i could get Avalon for a reasonable price. This Album has a real groove to it, almost hypnotic. It is so lush with, seemingly all the musicians doing all their own brilliant bit. There are many moments of great soundscapes with ferrys' voice cutting beautifully through it. The 5.1 mix is spot on in my opinion, not aggressive but well considered and placed. Having just been able to find Avalon, i prefer this disc by a good margin. A reviewer said consider it Avalon 2- well maybe think of Avalon as Boys and Girls 2. Lush , Lush Lush.

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Review by JJCP October 27, 2013 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is an amazing album with some classics that really catch me. The surround audio is really brilliant, and as the songs are so nice, it really is one of the best albums in my collection. Bryan Ferry is a top performer!

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Review by analogue May 7, 2015 (4 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
1985/ 9 tracks/ 38 minutes.

This review is written for the new Shm Sacd released in April of 2015.

My favorite of Ferry's solo efforts. I really enjoy the mysterious rhythms and swirling textures. This is a night time disc if you catch my meaning. Ferry's aims are achieved easily on this 1985 recording.

If you are a fan of this album...........buy it. You will be very impressed by the sound and music.

While I listened the overall impression is one of ultimate transparency, absolute clarity and ease of presentation. These are the overpowering qualities that truly stand out. As a flat transfer I must say that this comes across better than the Avalon Shm Sacd. The latter, however is slightly more robust and powerful.
Decent layering of instruments on this new Dsd transfer and this music is a mood piece. I can imagine the vinyl exaggerating the bass and having less treble information. Good soundstage and decent bass.

This is a top notch Dsd transfer and I cant imagine anyone being let down by it.

Highly recommended. A terrific listen from start to finish.

Crystal clear, transparent and clean is the way this sacd drives the music.
Must be played loudly to achieve musical bliss. And this will be attained I can assure you of this.

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