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David Bowie - David Bowie CD (album) cover


David Bowie


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2.47 | 134 ratings

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2 stars The first thing that jumps out at me regarding this album is just how hard Bowie is trying to look like contemporary (Between the Buttons-era) Mick Jagger on this album cover. The hair, the sweater, the slight sneer, it's basically dead on. Were they hoping somebody would look at this album cover and think for a second Jagger had released a solo album? Seems like an odd thing given that the "David Bowie" name was right next to the picture.

Bowie's "debut," of course, wasn't really his debut; he'd been trying to make his mark since 1964, jumping from style to style with one failed single after another, but this was the first time he'd recorded enough tracks in a single general style to have enough for an album. There's an expanded re-release floating around, extensively covering all of his mid-to-late-60's attempts at music-making, but I'm content to have my single-CD 12-track release. As for the music, this is Bowie trying to make a Something Else/Between the Buttons-style musichall/Brit-pop collection, but not really succeeding. His singing needed a lot of work at this point; the opening "la la"'s in "Sell Me a Coat" are the worst example, but there are more than a couple of moments on the album that make it obvious that Bowie wasn't going to have any success along the path of croon-balladeering. The music is full of "cute" (read: stupid) sound effects like the British announcer at the beginning of "We Are Hungry Men," the lyrics are extremely childish in an unimpressive way (he's clearly gunning for a Ray Davies or Syd Barrett approach, but failing), and the music has pretty much no grounding in rock music whatsoever.

Still, while I don't like this album much, I can't really hate it either. "Love You Till Tuesday" is a fun orchestrated pop song, and his "da-da-da-dum" singing is a terrific touch. Other songs are all afflicted by an excessive amount of twee or by silly lyrics or by silly sound effects, but it's hard to point to any one particular song and go "Man, this is horrible." Taken in other contexts, the songs on here could have made cute diversions; put together, the effect is a little underwhelming. If you're a major Bowie historian, you'll want this or one of the expanded releases of this, but regular Bowie fans could probably do fine just to find "Love You Till Tuesday" on a compilation or something.

tarkus1980 | 2/5 |


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