Bryan Ferry (Virgin)
If Shakespeare's oft-quoted Sonnet 18 was conducive to crooning, no doubt we would have heard dozens of sizzling renditions over the years. And the reason we haven't is clear - it's not meant to be crooned. Not even honey-voiced hipster Bryan Ferry can get away with it (and why he would try is anyone's guess).
Ferry's latest CD of 18 love ballads does, however, remind us why he has been an icon for 26 years. Slave To Love, Avalon, Jealous Guy, Roxy Music's More Than This and This Love are not only reminders of the man's classy, bespoke style but of his talent. Seductive, smooth and smouldering. Sadly, any flames are extinguished by several bland tracks with arrangements so pedestrian they make singing Shakespeare seem a good idea. If, like the title of a Roxy Music classic omitted here, love is a drug, Ferry has had a bit too much.