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|3. Slip Away|
|4. Slow Burn|
|6. I've Been Waiting For You|
|7. I Would Be Your Slave|
|8. I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spaceship|
|9. 5:15 The Angels Have Gone|
|10. Everyone Says 'Hi'|
|11. A Better Future|
|12. Heathen (The Rays)|
What's 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", while 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 Townsend 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 non-believers. --Kevin Maidment
This, his first album since the tuneful but dissapointing Hours..., has had exactly the same treatment, except that this time, the cliche that is "His best since Scary Monsters" is entirely justified, beacause with Heathen, Bowie has managed to rediscover three things: his unique ability to construct a wonderful tune, his lyrical inventivity and his talent at making a beautifully flowing album.
Sunday, the album's opener, is an incredibly pretentious and majestic song, which builds slowly to an incredible climax. A wonderful opening song. In Slip Away, the former Thin White Duke has made one of his best songs in years. Emotionally delivered and with a beautiful tune to boot, this is perhaps the albums highlight. Other great songs are I Would Be Your Slave (a paranoid and moving love ballad) and Everyone Says Hi (a little ditty with a catchy tune which works brilliantly). But Bowie isn't just fantastic with his own work, and on Heathen, he turns his talents towards the work of three other artists, covering the Pixie's 'Cactus', The Legendary Stardust Cowboy's 'I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spacecraft' and Neil Young's 'I've Been Waiting For You'. All are exectued to perfection, and Cactus, a song which suits Bowie down to the ground, is particularly good.
In truth, Heathen doesn't have a bad track, the closest being Afraid, and in the final song, Heathen (The Rays), Bowie has made yet another masterpiece to add to his repertoire.Read more ›