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David Bowie - Low CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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4.08 | 404 ratings

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4 stars After Station to Station's drug-addled psychotic tunes, Bowie decided he needed time to cool off. He therefore moved to Berlin, where he recorded three albums, known, appropriately as The Berlin Trilogy. Low is the first of this trilogy, and is where David first dips his toes into the world of electronic music. He was inspired by bands such as Kraftwerk, and in turn would make electronic music popular, giving more commercial possibilities to bands such as Kraftwerk. This album is split distinctly into two halves, one focusing on intense groundbreaking electro-pop tunes, and the second on mellower, introspective instrumental. The album's lyrics in general are very confessional, and Bowie has never been so open before.

'Speed of Life' opens the album with an electrified instrumental. If I had to use one word to describe the music on this album it would be orange. I may be influenced by the orange cover, but I can expain this point of view. The music is very intense, but still 'chilled out' and 'cool' enough to not be red. That might not make sense to you, but it does to me. 'Breaking Glass' maybe less than two minutes long, but there's a lot of feeling involved. 'What in the World' is a great song with Bowie once again being very passionate in his vocals. 'Sound and Vision' is an iconic tune with one of the greatest intros ever. Bowie manages to be humourous, yet thoughtful and subdued on this song. 'Be My Wife', instead of being an elctropop song like the previous ones, is a straight forward blues-based rocker. Bowie pleads to his wife to stay with him. She refused to move to Berlin with him, and they ended up divorcing, and even though she had previously been moved a lot by his music, even this song could not save their marriage. The fact that the whole point of this song became futile gives it an appreciable irony. We're back in electronic territory with 'Always Crashing in the Same Car', probably the best of the vocal songs. It mourns the banality of every day life in a way that is more accurate to me than, say, Dark Side of the Moon. The best of the pop songs is followed by the worst of the instrumentals. 'A New Career in a New Town' always leaves me cold, although it has some catchy melodies. 'Warszawa' is more like it. A majestic soundscape, not staying the same for too long, before some nosensical tribal sounding vocals enter. Brilliant. 'Art Decade' and 'Weeping Wall' continue in this direction, each with their own personality. 'Art Decade' grand and full of hope, with 'Weeping Wall' being more mellow and ambient. We finish on a good song called 'Subterraneans', mostly instrumental, but developing into a vocal section which is a string of unrelated English words. Bowie wanted to focus not on the meaning, but the sound of words for this song.

This is a great art rock album. It shows signs of progression (not Prog, mind you), experimenting and creating good music. It leaves me wanting in a few sections however, and Bowie would go on to greater things with his next album.

Recomended to fans of electronic prog, and anyone wiht an ear for good music, unlike most other things. A well deserved four stars.

burtonrulez | 4/5 |


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