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David Bowie - Young Americans CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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2.85 | 252 ratings

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3 stars Better than Diamond Dogs.

Either loved or panned, this huge change in Bowie's style was bound to confuse, if not offend, fans of his earlier works. Bowie was expert in completely changing styles, often just when his fans had accepted the previous style. But in doing so, he kept his own approach vital and interesting, and looking back these changes were important in defining new sounds. I disagree with those who think this album was a sell-out and a mistaken temporary detour into Philly soul. I happen to really like funk and soul, and I think Bowie adds something to this genre here, and the album cover seems to me to be slightly more joke than crass commercialism. At the same time, I also disagree with those who love this album to death. I like it better than 'Diamond Dogs', which really felt tired in places. 'Young Americans' (the album) feels fresh. But Bowie here doesn't quite master the whole genre, and some tunes fall flat. His version of "Across the Universe" both harkens to a new sound but also should have been even better than this, and the listener can hear it, and both "Someone Up there Likes Me" and "Can You Hear Me" fail. But Bowie the innovator is clearly in attendance. 'Fame' is awesome. James Brown loved it so much that he apparently copied the backing tracks for his own song "Hot (Need to be Loved, Loved, Loved)". So is the title track, "Fascination", "Right". I also very much like the bonus tracks included on the re-issue, which actually are even more soulful than most of the tracks on the original album. I personally like the albums that would follow this one better ('Station to Station', 'Low', 'Heroes'), but they probably couldn't have happened without this one, and this album is still good and worth getting. I give this 6.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.

Walkscore | 3/5 |


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