Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.
is, in essence, the first "traditional" Bowie album worthy of kudos in years, as it successfully reunites Bowie with producer Tony Visconti, the man at the controls during Bowie's Berlin period. Heathen
finds rock's greatest chameleon once again remolding his past, advancing to new vistas by moving up that metaphorical hill backward. Even more gratifying is the universally high quality of the songwriting craftsmanship on offer, where even a ditty as frivolous as "Everyone Says 'Hi'" ("Don't stay in a sad place where they don't care how you are") hits the mark. For heavyweights who like their Bowie with furrowed-brow, the monastic aura of opener "Sunday" sounds like a post-rock Enigma covering Nico's interpretation of Tim Hardin's "Eulogy to Lenny Bruce," whilst the strident savagery evidenced on an apt cover of the Pixies' "Cactus" disposes with Frank Black's hound-dog yelp and reasserts the melody without undermining the original's obsessional score. Tin Machine ought to have sounded like this. Watch out, too, for the Robert Fripp-impersonating flamethrowing of Pete Townshend on "Slow Burn" and the guitar of the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl lending a slacker swagger to a cover of Neil Young's "I've Been Waiting for You" (again, much better than Tin Machine's live version). Heathen
proves that Bowie's still got it. All of it. And in abundance. Awaken all ye nonbelievers. --Kevin Maidment