The guest list for Bryan Ferry’s first batch of (mostly) original material in eight years is star-studded to the point of practically begging for attention. There’s Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood—and those are just the guitarists. But if you don’t have the liner notes handy, the sidemen won’t matter, and your mind will stay focused on a single thought: This is one super-suave dude. That’s not news, of course, but Olympia highlights the ridiculously unfair versatility of that smoothness. This is a guy who could be the hippest man in a VIP club where the drug of choice is too cutting-edge to have earned a nickname yet. And if the ladies prefer the sensitive type over an R-rated creature of the night, the protagonist of Olympia can just as easily play the lonely puppy dog or the compassionate, open-armed protector of lost souls. –David Styburski

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