Sunday, 9 February 2014
Reviewed: "Low" by David Bowie (1977)
As can be said about all Bowie albums preceding this one, Low is a very unique album and is unlike all albums released before by the Thin White Duke. Largely instrumental and with tones varying from cheerful and optimistic, to dark and brooding, and sometimes sinister and mysterious, there is not a hit single to be found on the whole record. With the possible exception of Be My Wife, the songs are as non commercial and single unfriendly as can be. It is truly an album which must be listened to as a whole, instead of broken down into its components- it is great proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The overall effect of the whole album is spacey and distant, like the soundtrack to a science fiction movie, a space rock opera. There is not a single catchy chorus or guitar riff to be heard, the whole thing is heavily synthesizer driven, featuring songs containing no structure. It is not a collection of songs the way his earlier albums are, the whole thing melts into one epic piece. I wouldn't recommend it to diehard fans of Bowie's glam era because they would be disappointed- this work is from a different artist altogether than the man who made Aladin Sane. It stands out to me in my mind as one of the most unusual and interesting albums ever released, and a true classic in its own sense, even if Ziggy Stardust 'tis not.