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David Bowie - Heathen CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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3.74 | 205 ratings

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4 stars This album came out a few months after the 9/11 attacks on the United States. I can't help but think that the opening track, Sunday, was influenced by it an almost prescient in a way.

"Everything has changed

For in truth it's the beginning of nothing And nothing has changed"

What really made this album click with me (and I've only been a hard core Bowie fan since Outside) was how the David Torn opening guitar kicked it off. Plus the song seemed rather timely.

David does his best work when he's working with prog musicians and having Torn in a major role helped out a lot. Tony Levin was also along for the ride although he can really kind of blend in with any band, progressive or not Fortunately he's mostly prog bands, unless I am mistaken. Jordan Rudess was around, hadn't hear of Dream Theater at that time. Still haven't heard much of those guys. Also, Pete Townshend and David Grohl also each show up for a cameo. Tony Visconte also lends a major hand, production and instruments. He's back on board with Bowie for the first time since Scary Monsters And Super Creeps.

We have some well-done cover tunes here: "Cactus" (Black Francis), "I've Been Waiting for You" (Neil Young), "I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship" (Norman Carl Odam) (OK a bit of a silly piece), "Heathen (The Rays)". All of those I heard for the first time first here.

Slip Away is a bit of an odd track. From what I've read Uncle Floyd is not pink. A few obscure lyrical references you can look up on the Internet. Slow Burn is the Townshend track, another original I really liked. I'm Afraid - hey Bowie believes in Beatles, so do I, not a frightening song in particular. I Would Be Your Slave - a nice gender neutral song with nice feelings for a partner. 5:15 The Angels Have Gone - lamentations on losing a partner. Everyone Says Hi - (Doo wap wap wa ooo) - about a significant other that has mysteriously disappeared. I Demand A Better Future - another one I feel was influence by events at the time (9/11) and a relationship gone bad.

So I don't know if it was just time, timing, or both. This remains an album that will go down reminding me of a particular time in my personal history. His more poppy efforts just fly on by. But for me, this one has legs.

Slartibartfast | 4/5 |


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