The Independant - Olympia - Fri 22nd Oct

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by Andy Gill

Pop's pre-eminent lounge lizard returns to more familiar territory after his patchy album of Dylan covers: Olympia is full of Eurotrash dancefloor motorik like the single "You Can Dance" and romantic languor like "Alphaville", the latter an exercise in dissipated alienation. But while Olympia has character, it's all the same character; and despite the guests littering the tracks – at one point, Marcus Miller, Flea and Mani Mounfield all play bass on the same track, while another features guitarists Dave Gilmour, Jonny Greenwood, Nile Rodgers Phil Manzanera, and Oliver Thompson – the core material seems colourless and drab. It's only when one reaches the superb covers of Tim Buckley's "Song To The Siren" and Traffic's "No Face, No Name, No Number" that the absence of strange and subtle melodies on the other tracks becomes devastatingly evident.

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