Phil Manzanera 6pm

Aging rock stars more often than not lose the plot in their later years. They become comfortable dining with the bourgeoisie or collecting rare sport cars and completely forget that the world of music they were once a substantial part of is still evolving and unfolding on a daily basis. Perhaps Phil Manzanera, the former axe slinger for extravagant art-rockers Roxy Music, doesn’t care what the kids are up to with music these days, but he could have at least made a trip down to HMV or opened up an NME before recording this set of overproduced love ballads and moderate rockers (his first collection since 2001’s Latin-flavoured Vozero). As a result, 6pm demonstrates Manzanera’s taste for cutting edge developments in super-clean studio sound, a disease that most old-time musical wizards are stricken with in their later years. His list of contributors is impressive (Brian Eno, Robert Wyatt, Chrissie Hynde) but 6pm is not. There are some decent instrumental passages throughout this album, but the songs themselves are pure tripe. Check out this chorus, from "Love Devotion,” if you don’t believe me: "Our love runs deep / Deep with devotion / Higher than the highest sky / Bluer than the bluest ocean.” C’mon, Phil. 53 years of life and that’s the best you can come up with? Well, at least the bourgeoisie will applaud it. Albeit sparingly. (Hannibal)