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David Bowie - 1. Outside CD (album) cover

1. OUTSIDE

David Bowie

 

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3.54 | 88 ratings

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Burning Shed
5 stars Undoubtedly Bowie's most experimental album since 1980's Scary Monsters, Outside is an ambitious and genuinely Progressive fusion of Art Rock, Electronica/Dance, warped Lounge Jazz and Industrial musics.

Reeves Gabrels has never played better (creating a sound that combines the edge of Fripp with the free flowing explorations of Terje Rypdal), Mike Garson is as playfully inventive as ever, and Bowie masterfully alternates between haunted avant croon and paranoid New Wave understatement.

Although the concept and the spoken word sections occasionally grate, they never overwhelm the unbridled creativity at the core of this underrated release. The fact that music from the album was used in several films from the period (including David Lynch's Lost Highway) is testament to the evocative and intensely cinematic nature of its music.

Reference points such as Nine Inch Nails, Scott Walker's Tilt and 1980s King Crimson provide a key to some of the approaches on display here, but don't fully do justice to the scope and originality of the project, which is something of a one off in the Bowie canon (only certain songs on Heathen echo Outside's atmosphere and ambition).

Something Really Fishy: The 1.Outside Outtakes is also well worth checking out. Mainly a collection of 20 minute compositions containing themes explored on Outside and unreleased melodies, it displays Bowie, Eno, Gabrels and Garson at their most instinctive and inventive.

Burning Shed | 5/5 |

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