Search - David Bowie :: Earthling

David Bowie
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Shrugging off an uneventful decade of boring, archaic, projects, Earthling returns Bowie to the forefront of contemporary music. While the album has garnered attention for incorporating elements of drum and bass, its most ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: David Bowie
Title: Earthling
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Virgin Records Us
Original Release Date: 2/11/1997
Release Date: 2/11/1997
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Styles: Dance Pop, Progressive, Progressive Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724384262723

Shrugging off an uneventful decade of boring, archaic, projects, Earthling returns Bowie to the forefront of contemporary music. While the album has garnered attention for incorporating elements of drum and bass, its most striking feature is truly Bowie himself as he recaptures an edge he hasn't shown since 1979's Scary Monsters. From the addictively danceable "Little Wonder" to the appropriately unnerving "Seven Years in Tibet," the album is full of the genius that made him so remarkable to begin with. As for the loops and samples, it's less a novelty and more Bowie's willingness to open his music to new tools. Granted, it's not as "before its time" as 1974's Diamond Dogs, but acid-laden vocals, hard-edged guitars, and arrangements that constantly border on the edge of chaos all show a pretty striking return to form from an artist who many had written off as a dinosaur. --Bill Snyder

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CD Reviews

The Absolute Best Album By Anyone Ever
Cortaigne | 01/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"... and I mean that. I'm not gushing unjustly. This is a perfect package from the bottom up.

Most of the criticisms of this album take into account that Bowie was 50 years old at the time, like techno is strictly a young person's game. It's sad to think that, had a 20-year-old recorded EXACTLY this album, in the same time and place, I'm almost certain it would have been huge. HUGE. But because it was done by Bowie, people attached the weight of his age and his musical history to it, which is missing the point entirely. Take this album on its own, as it is, without any preconceived notions or ageism or anything, and this is a real firecracker.

Frankly, if anything, Bowie's experience only makes the album better than what a 20-year-old could have done. The songs are actually structured like pop-rock, with moving chord progressions, ice-water piano, live drums mixed seamlessly with programmed ones, and some of the best vocals of Bowie's career (or, for that matter, anyone's). This is not like any other techno out there, at all. There's literally NOTHING ELSE LIKE THIS ALBUM. It's entirely unique. That really makes me sad, because this album is so spectacular, I want more like it.

One thing I find particularly interesting about this album is that there is a subtle A-side/B-side quality. It may not be apparent right away, because the division is not nearly as obvious as it is on Low or "Heroes", but it's there. All the songs in the first half of the album, from "Little Wonder" through "Dead Man Walking," are positively-charged and upbeat - with the exception of "Seven Years In Tibet," which is venomous, a sizzling acid burn. Then, from "Telling Lies" through "LAW (Earthlings On Fire)", the album takes a dark, ominous turn. There's a distinct sense of foreboding and danger in this second half. It's a very clever arrangement. This album is so flawless, I wouldn't even change the order of tracks!

In iTunes, one can rate individual tracks from 0 to 5 stars. This is the ONLY album to which I have given solid five-star ratings. "Little Wonder" and "Telling Lies," being perhaps the least utterly amazing tracks on the album (and ironically, also the first two singles from it), I had initially given four stars each, simply because it felt wrong to say an album is perfect. I finally gave in and gave them five stars as well, because honestly, were I given the option to tell Bowie what to change about those tracks to make them even better, I'd tell him not to change a thing.

This really is a perfect album. Whether someone new to it is going to like it or not really depends on their expectations, biases, and so on, moreso than strictly the album itself. But if one can strip away all that baggage and just let the album stand on its own merits, I expect they'll be blown away. To anyone who can do that, I recommend this album most highly."
I just don't get it!
rockin randy | denver, colo, usa | 12/23/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I'm an old Bowie fan, but I like nine inch nails. I don't have a problem with Bowie going techno. What made Bowie great was the story telling, There's no story here. On the opening track he repeats you little wonder 34 times, he repeats the phrase so far away 30 times all rapped around electronic noises and blurbs that make no sense to me. As I listen to the rest of the CD, the same thing. 1 line phrases repeated over and over with noise in the background. What made bowie great was a collection of the some of worlds greatest musicians led by one of the worlds greatest composers. Not here on this CD you get about an hour of non ending electronic drum beats with noise blurbs, not 1 cool guitar riff. I picked this CD up because of the high rating and it's low price on Amazon. I gave up on Bowie several CD's ago this one's no better!"
eec | 08/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is techno/space/head-banging/emotional stuff all in one package. For the people who have problems with all the Changes Bowie goes through, THAT's Bowie. He is elastic and timeless. His old stuff is still fresh, his new stuff metamorphasizes with him.
If you want the same old song and dance, listen to aerosmith.
(which i like, btw)."