Earthling Album Pre-release Review


Ton van der Horst, who produces the fanzine The Voyeur, has been lucky enough to listen to a pre-release of the album Earthling, which will not be officially released until February 10, 1997. Here is his exclusive to Teenage Wildlife review! For those of you who haven't heard of The Voyeur, it is an officially sanctioned fan club magazine published in English. You can read all about how to subscribe and a brief review on the FanZine information page.

Earthling Review

by Ton van der Horst

David Bowie: "Earthling"

  1. Little Wonder
  2. Looking For Satellites
  3. Battle For Britain (The Letter)
  4. Seven Years In Tibet
  5. Dead Man Walking
  6. Telling Lies
  7. The Last Thing You Should Do
  8. I'm Afraid of Americans
  9. Law (Earthlings on Fire)

Release date : 3 February 1997 (European release date)

At first impression, I would classify this album as a jungle industrial rock orientated album. It reminds me a bit of Low (the vocal side) and The Idiot. It is also obvious how important Tin Machine has been, although I always say never compare a new Bowie album with its predecessors.

It's very heavy. A couple of months ago when I first heard songs from this album I thought, "well they're having a good time and let us not expect too much from it". Now after listening to it a couple of times I must say it is really a great album!. Nothing like taking a bit of time to appreciate an album. You can't compare it with 1. Outside, but let's have a look at the songs separately.

For a full report and more Bowie stuff, then you should become a member of the official Bowie fc magazine The Voyeur. Our next issue will be out mid January, before the release of the new single Little Wonder (20 January 1997 in Europe), and the release of Earthling.

Little Wonder: "Sending me so far away" Bowie sings, and that is just what this song is doing to you. It sets the tone for the rest of the album. So full of breaks and changes. It's very jungle.

Looking For Satellites: This one starts off with all kinds of different words spoken after each other, without a context it seems. Then the "singing" starts as though through a megaphone. It is a relatively quiet song, with lot's of repetition and at the end a very long solo from Reeves.

Battle For Britain: "And a loser I will be, never will be a winner in my life" Bowie sings. Is this Britain having self pity? A very guitar dominated song and at the end Mike Garson hitting the piano.

Seven Years In Tibet: This one starts off with a very calm and moody swing, but after the first verse it rocks your pants off. Absolutely great. "I praise to you, nothing ever goes...". An electric organ sets the tone on this one, somewhat Doors-like or Elvis Costello.

Dead Man Walking: "And I'm gone like I'm dancing on angels, and I'm gone through the crack in the past. Like a dead man walking". Contrary to its title it is a jolly positive tune, makes you feel good, something to sing along with. But don't let this confuse you, it fits very well in the album context. Gail Ann Dorsey is on backing vocals.

Telling Lies: This is somewhere in between the Bowie mix and the live version. It is my favourite studio version. But I wouldn't mind if it was heavier.

The Last Thing You Should Do: Very haunting song. I wonder how this will be as a live version.

I'm Afraid Of Americans: Different from the Showgirls version, more rock orientated.

Law (Earthlings On Fire): "I don't want knowledge, I want certainty" shouted through a megaphone. Is this 1984 becoming reality?

Well I think it is a great album, hopefully my review gives you an impression. Hope you liked it. For those who are thinking about it, the new album is not for sale, not on tape, or whatever!. You have to wait till February, I'm sorry.

A little detail about the artwork, the back cover is a photo of about 100 people (including Bowie) wearing a Union Jack jacket as he did on tour. And don't forget to become a member of The Voyeur.

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This document last updated Saturday, 22-Jan-2000 12:43:09 EST
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