I’ve been going through one of those phases recently. I was considering reviewing this entire album (Roxy Music’s debut), but I quickly realised that despite how many times I’ve listened to it, I’m still not sure if I get it. Although I think “getting” Roxy Music would be antithetical to their entire cause; like an unholy marriage of Sgt. Peppers and Dadaism, Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno and co. served to stylise and obfuscate simultaneously. The songs were profound, but only to the point where you realise that you still have no idea what they’re talking about.

So instead I figured If There Is Something was a better choice; probably the most direct, and certainly the most evocative. What begins out as a jaunty tale of young love quickly devolves, as guitar and oboe lines take the listener through the turmoil of love old and lost in one of the most exciting musical figures I’ve ever heard in rock music. There is no other way to characterise this song than tense. As the sax and oboe intertwine, with every new high followed by a new low, one is left with the melancholy refrain of Ferry’s piano, as he reminisces oh so sadly “Shake your hair girl with that ponytail… Takes me right back… When we were young”. As the mellotron kicks in, and the backing vocals continue the refrain, it’s all released in a cathartic outburst, before fading ever so slightly… when we were young.

It’s rare such sad music is so uplifting.

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