Heathen prerelease review
May 7, 2002
Arild Eriksen wrote this review based on an evening
sponsored by Sony Norway where guests were treated to two full playings of
the entire Heathen album.
Last night (7. May) Sony Music Norway held a small party in a club
downtown Oslo where they played the new Bowie album Heathen. We got to hear it only once, but
I took a few notes and wanted to share them with you. First of all.
WOW - it is so good to hear new Bowie material again. I had HUGE
expectations and could very easily have been dissapointed, I
DIDN'T!!!! The whole album is very solid and brilliantly produced. The
band sounds very together and it also sounds like they've had a good
time in studio.
The album is kind of a cross between Scary
Monsters and 'hours...'; but it is
not so stripped as 'hours...' could
sound at times. Here are some words about the different songs.
Excellent opener. Sounds very like Nature
Boy from the Moulin
Rouge soundtrack. Bowie with a deep and full voice. It starts
slow and builds and builds until it kind of explodes into a full band
song towards the end. One of the best tracks in my opinion.
- Cactus: This
is an old Pixies tune. Bowie's version stays very true to the
original. It is very rough and the drums are put way up in the front
and lifts the song forward. The guitar sounds edgy. Listen to the
original (on Surfer Rosa) and you will get a good idea.
- Slip away:
Guess this is the song formerly known as Uncle Floyd and that was
supposed to be on the Toy album. This is a mellow song. Sounds
like modern Hunky Dory with nice piano parts and a good
melody. Bowie sings "Twinkle twinkle Uncle Floyd". The girl I
brought really liked this one hahahahaha (she's not a fan).
- Slow Burn:
This one I guess you have all heard already. Is gonna be the first
single. The first few seconds it really sounds like
"Heroes". A very
traditional Bowie song. Beautiful chorus where Bowie touches on the
falsetto. Townshend plays some exellent guitar that sounds very Robert
Fripp. Could have been a Scary Monsters song.
- Afraid: A very
funky, uptempo song. The rhythm is kinda special, sounds like
Campbell's having a good time. Sounds like it is written during the hours sessions. There is a good pace
through the whole song. Bowie sings about how he is still afraid.
Again my date really liked the song.
- I've Been
Waiting For You: An old Neil Young song. Bowie used to
play this with Tin Machine with Reeves Gabrels on vocals. It is a bit
slower than TM used to play it and less guitar. Instead of having a
lot of guitar, Bowie pushes the Borneo Horns way into the front,. The
song is kind of noisy and sounds like a nod from David to Reeves as a
"Thanks for everything".
- I Would Be Your Slave:
Very slow. A bit difficult. Need some more time on this one. In my
opinion the weakest link. The rhythm changes several times, but Bowie
sings in the same tempo all the way, could ALMOST sound a bit
boring. Just didn't get a good hold on it. It is hard to describe.
- Gemini Spacecraft:
The promo said; "I took a trip in a Gemini spacecraft". That is also
the original title on this cover version of The Legendary Stardust
Cowboy song. My favourite!!! A fast song with lots of sounds and
noise. Bowie on top sounding almost like an alien using his
femi voice hahahaha the same voice as on
Dead Against It. This
song had me jumping on the seat. Again a genuis "space" song.
- 5:15 The Angels Have Gone:
A pretty little ditty. Bowie starts every second sentence with
"5:15". and goes on to tell what happens. The song sounds
sad. The arrangement is good and well put together. Really liked this
one. Could also have been on hours...
if it hadn't been for all the
details in the music.
- Everyone Says
Hi: A funny up tempo tune. Very POP if you know what I
mean, just like Afraid. Very
- A Better Future:
A different kind of song. Sounds a bit like the b-sides on the 'hours...' singles, specially We Shall Go to Town. A haunting
melody. Can't remember too many details as the beer began to kick in.
Think it was very much electronica.
A nice and mellow sort. Heathen was not the whole title on this
song. Just like the last song on Earthling it had something in parentheses
after Heathen, but I just can't remember what it was. It was two
words. Something like Heathen (Try Harder) or Heathen
(Fly Further) or something. Can't remember too much of the song
itself - sorry.
This document last updated Thursday, 09-May-2002 01:47:57 EDT