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David Bowie - Hunky Dory CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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4.15 | 469 ratings

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2 stars Lots of okay jazzy country or countrified jazz and the occasional folk-sounding tune populate this album. In all, it teeters on the generic, and is sometimes downright hokey. If anything, the album starts out highly enjoyably and ends fantastically, but most of what's sandwiched in between is of very little interest.

"Changes" From its funky jazz introduction to its melodic verses over major and minor-seventh chords, this short ditty is a fun one, and contains one of Bowie's best vocal performances. This staple of classic rock radio remains one of my favorite songs from him.

"Oh! You Pretty Things" Hammered-out piano chords and Bowie's thin but unmistakable voice make up this second song, and it's particularly rewarding when it explodes into an enjoyable fullness. The chorus has almost the same progression as the one from "Changes."

"Eight Line Poem" Over sparse piano and twangy guitar, Bowie sings in an exaggerated way- kind of an uncomfortable bore, really.

"Life on Mars?" Not only does the title give this impression, but the music of this sounds like a precursor to the upcoming album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. It has a great refrain, with swirling strings and a fabulous piano.

"Kooks" Something of a bouncy honky-tonk song, this one is cute and a little fun, but that's about it.

"Quicksand" This song is more of a folk tune, with heavy-handed acoustic guitar and whiny vocals.

"Fill Your Heart" One of Bowie's most saccharinely happy songs, this one makes good use of the peppy strings and saxophone.

"Andy Warhol" This track has strange electronic noises and some talking and laughing before the song proper starts. Musically, it's the most forceful of the acoustic tracks, but the vocal melodies bog the piece down. It eventually loses its way and just falls apart.

"Song for Bob Dylan" Bowie does an okay job emulating Bob Dylan's lazy vocal inflections, although the highlight of this little tribute is the solid electric guitar lead.

"Queen Bitch" The only song on the album I would consider a proper rock song, this has a strong electric guitar riff and a flamboyant air that rather serves as a herald of Bowie's well-known glam rock style.

"The Bewlay Brothers" The final song is a steady work with a dramatic build. While retaining the rustic flavor, this one has a bit of an exotic feel in places. This rather generic album ends magnificently, with one of Bowie's most creative offerings.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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