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David Bowie - Hunky Dory CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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4.17 | 519 ratings

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4 stars Hunky Dory is arguably David Bowie's first classic album. It's unique yet familiar simultaneously, featuring some of his most well-known tracks, as well as a platter of lesser-known pop gems.

Bowie sounds a little whimsical and generally less intense than his Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke personas, with Hunky Dory representing a unique and individual place in his extensive music catalogue. Instead of most of the songs relating to an androgynous alien rocker or a cocaine-addled soul man's off-centered view of the world, on this record, Bowie is just being Bowie - singing tales of hypothetical young people trying to live life, to an impressively accomplished standard.

The lyrics are a deep and enriched by personal tensions and evocative imagery which Bowie brings through with his vocals - finally finding the unique singing voice he'd been searching for since the beginning of his career. 'Changes' is, without question, one of Bowie's undisputed classics. It sets the tone of the album well providing the foundation for Bowie's rebellion against misunderstanding.

'Oh! You Pretty Things' regurgitates the same formula to the same effect, but there are small glimmers of sorrow to balance out the upbeat tone of the tunes with touches of something more pensive - 'Fill Your Heart' is a good example of this. Even though the lyrics are hopeful and positive, the change of pace just before the end of the chorus is dark and almost cleansing in its own way..

The biggest song in terms of reputation is undoubtedly 'Life On Mars' - a sweeping epic packed with orchestration, unforgettable lyrics and melodic guitar. Aside from the aforementioned three "classics" ('Changes', 'Oh! You Pretty Things' and 'Life On Mars') are some overlooked tracks that are superb. 'Queen Bitch', the avant-garde 'Andy Warhol', and the jovial 'Kooks' being just a few choice cuts.

Hunky Dory is an excellent set of early Bowie classics, before he got caught up in the future-shock paranoia of his ever-changing personas. This record takes on a character of its own - a refreshing, pure and exhilarated Bowie. It's a nice balance to Bowie's more iconic glam rock 'Ziggy' phase, and as such, distinguishes itself as an essential part of any Bowie collection.

lukatherfan | 4/5 |


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