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David Bowie Hours... album cover
3.39 | 166 ratings | 8 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Thursday's Child (5:24)
2. Something in the Air (5:46)
3. Survive (4:11)
4. If I'm Dreaming My Life (7:04)
5. Seven (4:04)
6. What's Really Happening? (4:10)
7. The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell (4:40)
8. New Angels of Promise (4:35)
9. Brillant Adventure (1:54)
10. The Dreamers (5:14)

Total Time 47:02

Bonus tracks on 2011 remaster:
11. Something in the Air (American Psycho remix) (6:02)
12. Survive (Marius DeVries mix) (4:18)
13. Seven (demo) (4:07)
14. The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell (Stigmata Film version) (4:46)
15. We All Go Through (4:10)

Line-up / Musicians

- David Bowie / vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar, keyboards, Roland 707 drum machine, co-producer

- Reeves Gabrels / electric guitar, acoustic 6- & 12-string guitars, drum loops, synth, co-producer
- Mark Plati / bass, acoustic & electric 12-string guitar, synth, drum programming, Mellotron (3)
- Chris Haskett / rhythm guitar (4)
- Mike Levesque / drums
- Sterling Campbell / drums (5,8,10)
- Everett Bradley / percussion (5)
- Holly Palmer / backing vocals (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Rex Ray with Tim Bret-Day (photo)

CD Virgin ‎- CDVX 2900 (1999, Europe)
CD Friday Music ‎- FRM-48157 (2011, US) Remastered with 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to MANDRAKEROOT for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy DAVID BOWIE Hours... Music

DAVID BOWIE Hours... ratings distribution

(166 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

DAVID BOWIE Hours... reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy

It was very much of a relief to discover this album. David and I were kind of angry upon each other (but humbly I think he didn't care less about whatever might be my opinion about "Outside" and "Earthling").

David is back with a very personal album. Lots of references to the early glory days, fine music (some might say too accessible). At least gone are those awful techno and house beats. Gone are these electronics experiences. For my best sake.

The only negative point that could arise might be a too uniform sound throughout the album, but I far much prefer this than the one of the prior two "musical experiences". The man almost never made compromises throughout his (very) long career. And he should be bloody respected for this. At least it is how I feel.

The songs featured on this album are full of feeling, subtle, emotional. Few are masterpieces, but the whole is doing very fine.

David reverts to his early days, delivering some catchy melodies "Thursday Child", " Something In The Air", "Seven" .Actually, I could virtually refer to each track of this album to depict my impression.

The highlight, IMO, is the wonderful "If I'm Dreaming My Life". Seven. minutes of pure melody.

Some might regret any innovation in "hours". And to a certain extent, I can cope with this theory. The ones who like this album aren't the same ones who loved "Outside" and its intricate storyboard and experimental music I guess.

Nothing as such on "hours". What you get here is straight forward Bowie material. But gosh! I like it an awful lot! Can't help.

I've been through so many difficult times with David in the nineties, that I just received this album as a gift. Some kind of a resurrection. But again, I know that some of people might consider this album as weak because it holds probably too conventional Bowie material.

Nevertheless, this album has no weakness. It's a very good and consistent effort which should please lots of old freaks. Since it is a good description of myself, I am rating this album with four stars (which is slightly overrated).

Considering that most of the material was original written as a computer game support only highlights David's multi-faceted personality. Being able over the years to adapt himself to the existing environment is just amazing. But we know this for ages now.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Bowie is finishing old millenium with return to form!

He always was one of best musicians in my list. During his long career he changed his musical styles many times, but always was in close touch with time. Even if I didn't like too much his after -"Let's Dance" releases, he just tried to be actual again, in modern sound of nineties.

But on his "hours..." he returned back in more classical "Bowie style ", just on new , more mature level, again.

Yes there is less experimentation or new trends on this album, but you can hear Bowie as musician, who spend all his life in prog-pop avant guarde, and now just using his all experience for mature product.

Perfect melodies, nice sound, ok - a little bit "too normal" music, but of highest quality. It's question of taste, but for me this last Bowie musical period looks very logical, and I just enjoy the music ( next two albums are made at the same level and same musical direction).

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Hours' - David Bowie (6/10)

Having a career spanning four decades, singer-songwriter David Bowie has managed to stay afloat by reinventing himself every few years. Beginning as a rather by-the-numbers artist in the '60s; Bowie would go through a glam phase during the 70's, a pop/alternative phase during the '80s, and a eclectic range including electronic house music in recent times. While this constant change has led to polar opinions from fans, Bowie has managed to maintain a fresh sense of creativity and musical passion throughout his life, and the album 'Hours' proves this notion, for the most part.

A very song-based piece of work, 'Hours' sounds alot like the pop/rock based material Mr. Bowie was performing before delving into the realm of electronica. The album opens with the single 'Thursday's Child,' which sounds like an attempt to break into the adult contemporary market. As a result, despite having some memorable hooks, things sound quite tame and might not appeal to those looking for a bit more caffeine in their music. Some effective female vocal work gives the song some much needed flair however. While 'Thursday's Child' is an effective opener and one of the more effective tracks on the album, it is a very lucky fact that the album isn't based entirely on the strength of the single.

Over the course of the album, some new sounds can be heard that sound all the more surprising, due to the rather laid back nature of the opener. Blues, folk and even psychedelia is represented. While none of the songs on 'Hours' are excellent, each one is memorable in it's own right. The eight minute long 'If I'm Dreaming My Life' is a very surreal track with some blues nuances in it to give it some attitude. 'Seven' is one of the best tracks on the album; a folky number with a very personal-sounding performance. 'What's Really Happening' is one of the songs I didn't really care for, but for it's mediocrity, it still stands as being listenable. The two most surprising tracks here are 'The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell,' and 'Brilliant Adventure.' The first of those tracks throws in a very strong psychedelic rock sound into the music, which makes it stick out like black on white. 'Brilliant Adventure' on the other hand is only an interlude to give a break before the album closer 'Dreamers,' but it is a piece of Buddhist Zen music that easily sounds like something a monk would meditate to.

A weaker point of 'Hours' is actually the vocals of David Bowie himself. While he used to be able to really belt, age seems to have caught up on him and his range has shrunk considerably. Some of the more ambitious notes he tries to hit seem very strained; however big fans of the man's singing voice shouldn't have any problem at all digesting it.

'Hours' (like many other modern albums by long-standing artists) doesn't quite compare to David Bowie's early albums, but on the other hand, the man has endured alot better than some of the other musicians that have lasted as long. There is still intimacy and passion here, but the execution isn't quite as good as it may have been before. In any case, the album does tend to grow, and once one listens to it enough, it's easy to tell that there is alot more than mere adult-contemporary pop going on here.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I pretty much gave up any hope of hearing another great David Bowie album after my traumatic experiences with Let's Dance and Never Let Me Down! Luckily, his output got slightly better in the '90s and I recall that my opinion slowly began to shift for the better once I heard the great track I'm Deranged as a part of David Lynch movie Lost Highway. Still it wasn't until I heard Something In The Air, in the movie Memento, that I finally decided to invest my money into another David Bowie album.

I really wasn't expecting the laid back approach that 'hours...' offers all throughout its running time and looking back at this album I'd say that it shows definite signs of maturity on Bowie's part. By that I don't mean that this is one of those moody nostalgic experiences that most '60s and '70s bands were releasing around the same time, but rather a perfect blend between the nostalgia and fresh new approach to music making. Songs like Thursday's Child, Something In The Air and If I'm Dreaming My Life are great at taking all the latest sounds and ideas that existed at the time of the album's release but without making the simple mistake of overindulging the effects and sounds. These are simply competent songs from an experienced artist.

Even though the album does manage to lose some of its momentum towards the end, it still has enough moments of greatness to keep the overall experience on the plus side for me. To me, this is definitely the first Bowie album since Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (almost 20 years prior) that showed signs of greatness! Who knew that Bowie's next release would be the long awaited comeback to the top? In retrospective, while listening to this album, I begin to realize that the link is very apparent.

***** star songs: Thursday's Child (5:22) Something In The Air (5:46) Seven (4:05)

**** star songs: Survive (4:11) If I'm Dreaming My Life (7:05) The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell (4:41) Brilliant Adventure (1:52)

*** star songs: What's Really Happening? (4:10) New Angels Of Promise (4:37) The Dreamers (5:14)

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars It's almost as if Bowie accidentally stumbled on a portrait of himself in the attic that had been getting older and older. This is almost the exact opposite album of Earthling: while that had horrific arrangements but mostly had interesting songs, this one has relatively tasteful arrangements but rather uninspiring songs. This is as close as Bowie ever came to making a full-fledged adult contemporary album, and while it's nice that he relies more on mellow guitars (though the second half has songs with a lot of noisy Gabrels work) than gloppy synths (there are synths, but they don't get shoved in the listener's face), that's not really enough to thrill me. Perhaps if I were more of a Bowie fan, I'd be more apt to consider this album a sign of maturity and of an artist aging gracefully, much like I do with Strange Times by The Moody Blues (which also came out in 1999), but as is, I find the album pleasant but kinda boring.

The first half is a bit of a slog to get through. Admittedly, it does have two fairly marvelous mellow ballads in "Thursday's Child" and "Seven." "Thursday's Child" immediately makes it clear that this is going to be one hell of a mellow album, and David sounds creakier and older than ever before, but the melody is just lovely. "Seven" is even better, taking a lovely acoustic-based melody with a great chorus and dripping little bits of lovely guitar on the sound like chocolate syrup on a sundae. "Survive" is a decent enough song with more pleasant work from Gabrels, but the vocal part isn't written or sung well enough to quite make it what it probably could be. "Something in the Air" and "If I'm Dreaming My Life," then, are just way too long for how much they feel like mildly above average Phil Collins songs ("Dreaming" has some artsier aspects, but the song just ends up as a weird combination of boring and messy).

The second half has a little more diversity, throwing in some decent rockers and a weird Easterny instrumental ("Brilliant Adventure"), but it's still no great shakes. Both "What's Really Happening" and "The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell" have brief moments that make me think momentarily they might be minor classics, but they both feel a little too underdeveloped for me to love them (I still like them). "New Angels of Promise," the other rocker, is a little too messy for my tastes; the synths, guitars and vocals crash into each other but don't mesh at all. And finally, "The Dreamers" is rather underwhelming for an album closing anthem. It's not bad, and Bowie doesn't sound as old as he often does on the rest of the album, but he's definintely done better closers.

Again, it's not a bad album, but I don't see why I'd ever want to listen to it straight through again. Heck, Reeves Gabrels found it so boring that it prompted him to quit working with Bowie for good.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Bowie had spent much of the 1990s exploring various electronic-drenched genres, with the industrial toxins of Outside and the alt-dance music of Earthling representing the peak of this. On Hours..., he begins to chart his course back to more unambiguously rock territory, with enough off-kilter production techniques to keep things weird as he crafts a set of mellow, melancholic pop-rock numbers.

Some of this comes across as mellow, chillout-Bowie, as on album opener Thursday's Child or Survive - numbers which offer pleasant background listening (much as the material on Black Tie White Noise did) without being too challenging but with enough guitar soloing and keyboard textures to keep things interesting if you choose to pay attention. Some material, on the other hand, has more bite - Something In the Air sounds downright foreboding, for instance, and kind of points the way to the territory Bowie would enter on Heathen. (This is not the only pointer to future projects here: on The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell, there's a sort of 1960s garage rock air to things, suggestive of Bowie's increased interest in revisiting the past which would culminate in the shelved Toy project.)

There's a few too many moments where the album slackens off for me to call it an unqualified success, but it's certainly better than the absolutely dreadful cover art would have you believe.

Latest members reviews

3 stars David Bowie stripped off experiments that were characteristic for his three or four last albums in the 90's and returned to contemporary adult pop/rock on this release. In comparison to "Let's dance" or other 80's releases, it is a less commercial effort albeit more radio friendly than "Earthlin ... (read more)

Report this review (#2311949) | Posted by sgtpepper | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album to me is Bowie's best output from the 90's. Half of this album is abit poppy. ''Thursday's Child'' was clearly made for the mainstream.And I guess its Bowie trying to fit in with the 90's adult comtemporary scene which no doubt he does very well. It also reminds of the old Hunky ... (read more)

Report this review (#182161) | Posted by ziggystardust360 | Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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