Picks and Pans Review: Heathen
This is Major Tom to Ground Control: Get a therapist up here pronto. With song after song about lost love, this moody and melancholy CD has more departures than LaGuardia Airport. And more security worries: In the past Bowie has frequently taken dark lyrics and made them dance, but seldom has his work sounded so starkly apocalyptic.
Bowie lives in New York City, which may explain why his mind is full of images of "steel on the skyline/sky made of glass...I can see it now/I can feel it die" and a plea to "please don't tear this world asunder...please make sure we get tomorrow." Warnings of blood, fear and fire appear against a disquieting backdrop of electronic effects and spacey keyboards, frequently with thrashing, grunge rhythm sections. Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl even crashes in with a heavy-metal guitar on one track. Only a few songs, such as the poignant, strings-laden "Everyone Says 'Hi,'" deploy Bowie's melodic gifts; otherwise, this is grim hard rock painted from a palette of black, blacker and blackest.
Bottom Line: Ashes to ashes
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