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David Bowie - Never Let Me Down CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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2.24 | 118 ratings

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1 stars Many people consider this Bowie's career low, even worse than Tonight or Labyrinth, but at least this has three tracks I like. The title track, as everybody points out, is an uncanny imitation of John Lennon circa 1980, and the combination of Bowie's vocal delivery and the great harmonica parts makes for a totally delightful experience. "Time Will Crawl" might essentially fall into the category of generic 80's pop, but it's got a genuine feeling of power in the lyrics and the beat, which is more than I can say for the bulk of the album. And you know, maybe I'm an idiot, but as far as generic semi-melodic 80's pop goes, I feel one could do a lot worse than "Shining Star (Makin' My Love)." It's just so freaking pleasant that I can't get myself to dislike it.

Unfortunately, that's pretty much all of the good that can be said for the album. This album feels like the quintessential Late 80's Album From A Washed Up 70's Star, and not even some sporadically decent guitar work (from Alomar and from guest Peter Frampton) can change that. There are a couple of instances where Bowie tries to reach into his past rather than relying solely on current trends, but they're total failures. "Zeroes" tries to conjure up memories of Ziggy Stardust and "Heroes", crossing them with synthesized audience noises meant to remind one of Diamond Dogs, and it irritates me to no end. "Glass Spider" (!) features Bowie reciting a nonsensical poem (!!) before going into a pop song no different from the bulk of the album. And believe me, the bulk of the album is just tacky and gross.

It's interesting to me that, in an interview a few years later, Bowie singled out this album and not Tonight as his low point. While I don't agree, I can definitely see where he was coming from on this. Once again, don't bother.

tarkus1980 | 1/5 |


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