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David Bowie - Pin Ups CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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3.04 | 217 ratings

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2 stars I did not expect to dislike this album this much. I mean, I knew that pretty much everybody disliked this album, considering this one of Bowie's career low points, but I didn't see how that could be possible; just how harmful could an album of covers of songs from the previous decade be? Especially when it was recorded after two albums that, at the worst, were in the top quarter of Bowie's career? Especially when it's only about half an hour long?

Well, um, this album is really bad, especially given how promising the track listing makes it look. I'm only familiar with a few of these tracks in their original versions, but they're all tracks I've always liked, and I figured that, at worst, Bowie would give them slightly eccentric tweaks that would produce alternate versions I could come back to once in a while. What I didn't expect was for him to suck so much of the life and enjoyment out of these songs, and for every single change to be one for the worse. The only track that I end up enjoying in its entirety, "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," is the one where Bowie takes a relatively conservative approach and doesn't tweak much. People tend to offer praise towards "See Emily Play," but I'm at a loss to understand why. I do admit that the addition of an extended pseudo-psychedelic section at the end is kinda neat, but the main portion just doesn't sound good to me at all. "Where Have All the Good Times Gone?" is decent enough, but far less exuberant than the original; "I Can't Explain" is slowed down to a crawl and made sleazier, I guess, but the saxophone and David's singing don't help things much; and "Shapes of Things" is about a dozen times worse than either the Yardbirds original or the great Jeff Beck version on Truth.

So anyway, like I said, I don't know the original versions of the other tracks on here, but I'm willing to bet that the originals all sounded way better than these covers. Ronson does his best to save the album from Bowie's, um, "inspirations" and his awful singing, which is what saves the album from an even lower grade, but even he can only do so much. I think what ultimately irritates me the most about the album is that it sounds like a two-week tossoff project by a drug-addled superstar who's come to believe his own press, which I'm guessing isn't too far from the truth. Bowie could have, nay, should have made something better out of this project, but as is, it's an album that most people can do without.

tarkus1980 | 2/5 |


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