April 24, 2014

The Bowie Project: Heroes (1977)

I haven’t had much access to the car recently, so I haven’t been listening to much music at all, let alone the Bowie. It’s about time I laid this album to bed, I think.

The album opens with Beauty and The Beast, another track that is based around a vamp that reminds me of Talking Heads. Fairly funky, not bad to listen to, some cute weird noises and backing vocals. DavidBowieHeroesCover

The intro to Joe The Lion is like something by Magazine. Once the vocals come in, the song goes downhill. It’s not so much singing, as yelling, akin to what The Killers get up to when they’re at their most annoying. There’s some bloody annoying guitar feedback in this song too. In fact, the guitars in general just seem to be tripping over each other, it’s very clumsy.

Third up is the title track, Heroes, a song that you are probably familiar with. The 6 minute album version does take a fair while to get to the point, I have to admit to preferring the 3 minute single edit. I love the production on this song, the guitar feedback is used to excellent effect here.

On, to Sons of the Silent Age, the lyrics are surely just a bunch of nonsense words thrown together, such things as scanning and rhyming obviously not high on the list of priorities. Great chord progression in the chorus though. If you’re getting the impression that I’m less than overwhelmed by this album, you’d be right.

Blackout is pretty good though, the harmonica returns but this time it’s being played with a bit more skill, and given a more suitable place in the mix. The song has an energetic rhythm, a nice bubbling bassline, and a bridge that appears to just sink under its own weight as if the bones in its legs have disappeared. Not an easy thing to pull off.

Much like Low, this is an album of two parts, and the second part kicks off with V-2 Schneider, a predominantly instrumental song with a lot of saxophone in it. It doesn’t do much for me, it has to be said.

Sense of Doubt is weird spacey instrumental noises, Moss Garden is plinky plonky, listen to the whale noises and the baaaaabbling broooook. Neuk├Âln is weird spacey instrumental noises with a moody saxophone like something from a noir crime film, and then the film ends on The Secret Life of Arabia which I don’t know what to make of at all. If truth be told, I haven’t listened to it many times – as I mentioned before, I haven’t had much chance to listen to music over the last 6 weeks, and more often than not I haven’t made it all the way to the end of the album. It’s a fairly uptempo song, but once again it fades out fairly suddenly in the middle of a chorus, which I may have mentioned before is a bit of a bugbear of mine when it comes to album closers.

Hits from this album: Heroes

My favourite song from this album: Probably have to be Heroes, but to be honest I’m even going off of that.

Next up: Lodger. This is supposedly more accessible than Low and Heroes, and has no instrumentals. Hosannah!

Pete

4 thoughts on “The Bowie Project: Heroes (1977)

  1. you sound a little Bowie jaded, to me. My prescription? Listening to something else for a bit. I’ve got a couple of short reviews of local bands to do by the end of Saturday. As always, I’m delaying until the last possible moment, as sometimes 150 words can seem impossibly long when you need to find nice things to say!

  2. Also, totally know what you mean about “Heroes” (the song)… overplayed to death and now almost dead to me.

  3. (By the way, is it just me who thinks the cover of his last album – heavily referencing/downright copying Heroes – is lazy and a bit rubbish?)

  4. Yeah, I’m pretty much halfway through the project, this would be a good time to give it a rest for a spell.

    I feel the same way as you about the last album cover. It looked more like the kind of thing that a 15 year old would throw together as a cover for their own Bowie mixtape. The choice of font, especially, makes it look particularly amateurish. There is supposedly an explanation for it but that’s a bit sixth-form in itself.

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