Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Low by David Bowie

Low, released in 1977, is an album by David Bowie. It was his eleventh studio album and it's commonly regarded as one of his best. Low is part one in a three part series known as the Berlin trilogy, the other two being Heroes and Lodger, and as good as those two albums are, this one is the best part of the series. Low went in a very different direction from his previous albums, because where previous albums concentrated almost entirely upon different styles of rock, Low was more electronic and ambient. Also, this album doesn't have many vocals, as the entire second half, and some of the first, is taken up by instrumentals.
Low opens with Speed of Life, with is an art rock instrumental. It's a great way to open the album. Next is Breaking Glass, which is the most rocking song on the album. Next is What in the World, which although is probably the weakest song on the album, is also great. That's followed by Sound and Vision, which was one of the singles from this album; it's a great song. Always Crashing the Same Car follows. It's about making the same mistake over and over; it's my favourite vocal tracks from Low. The last vocal track is Be My Wife, which is also great. So now the first half ends with A New Career in a New Town, which is also an art rock instrumental; I'd put it on par with Speed of Life.
For me, the second half is where the album shines most. The first song is Warszawa, a six minute ambient song that's meant to be about the desolation of Warsaw when Bowie went there. The following two songs, Art Decade and Weeping Wall, are also ambient instrumentals. They're excellent. The last track is Subterraneans, which is meant to invoke the misery of those in East Berlin during the Cold War. Towards the middle of this song, some sax comes in (played by Bowie). The sax adds a lot to this song and it's an excellent way to end the album.
This is my favourite Bowie album, with Ziggy Stardust a small step behind. BUY IT!


Aged 16 years

similar: Kid A by Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and anything ambient.
Best place to listen to it: Anywhere. Best listened to loud with nothing to distract you., though.
rating: Fantastic

(I've ordered all 3 CD's in the trilogy and The Berlin Trilogy DVD, so ask at any CCLC Library to place a reserve!)


Anonymous said...

<3 BOWIE!!
Awesome review Christopher, you've inspired me, I'll definitely be reserving all his CDs again.

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