For someone like me, the strangest thing about getting really into Roxy Music is the overt rockiness of a lot of their material. Even on this track, which is one more of their slower, more mournful numbers, there are a lot of very heavy rocky moments. They work pretty well though, and I'm certainly not complaining.
The atmospheric opening is breathtaking, and Bryan Ferry's vocal as he sings 'I've opened up my heart' is incredibly beautiful. The words and music seem to meld together in a very pretty way, but then before long the track mutates into a stomping, carnival like passage that clearly influenced Nick Cave to a considerable extent. Throughout the song there's this interchange between delicate, melodic verses and the rowdy, discordant section. Like another favorite Roxy track, 'Just like you', this song finishes with a clever chord change.
I'm sure many people would find 'Bitter-Sweet' much too dramatic and serious - perhaps some days I would too - but it does have an incredible elegance and style that makes me keep on listening.
from Country Life (Virgin ROXYCDX4), available on CD