on 9 August 2005
This album is great and because of Tin Machine's debut effort (or lack of effort for that matter) it has really suffered. there are weak tracks like any bowie project but there are a good few numbers here that have to be in my Bowie tunes top 10 and to be honest, this album is the reason i became a Bowie fan. The avant-shreek guitar of reeves gabrels is at times loud and fevered and at other times brilliantly inventive and subtle building a bigger and more varied sound than the debut album. The band (featuring Iggy Pop's drummer and bassist) deliver the music on rockier tunes with an 'off-the-cuff' punk attitude. Refreshingly unplanned and totally indulgent.
Baby Universal kicks it off in style but the closer 'goodbye mr ed' is my fav. Very poppy and emotive. generally the album has pop sensibilities but it is 'avant rawk'. The US album cover is an 'castrated' censored version of the UK release art loosing the sculpted 'manhoods' on greek adonis type statues. why a classical styled bit of art (hardly detailed as well...no pun intended) was noted as offensive in the US is beyond me.
You'll not get this album in the shops but as you can see it will appear as 'used and new' items on this website. New items are often imported. Bowie fans who don't have the album will be very surprised and will hear how this album formed Dave's direction throughout the 1990s. If you like 90s Bowie you'll love this. It's on par.
on 9 August 2005
Tin Machine were the most controversial thing Bowie has done with his music, and there was a simple divide between his fans: those who hated Tin Machine, and those who loved them.
That is why this review is slightly pointless. If you love them, you probably already have it. If you hate them, you either already have it, or you don't want it. But just in case, I'll review it anyway.
The first thing that strikes you about Tin Machine is that they are such an amazingly good band. And believe me, if the circumstances with the drummer Hunt Sales and his drug issues had been different, they may well still be going now. The album kicks off with a remarkably catchy song, Baby Universal. In fact, the album is full of remarkably catchy songs. Add this to a tight band, brilliant vocals and Master Gabrel's wacky-but-brilliant fretwork, and you have Tin Machine II. The oustander track is "You Belong In Rock & Roll". This is an awesome song, and completely unique.
Better than Tin Machine I? I think so.
on 9 August 2013
Both of the Tin Machine albums really ought to be seen for what they are: David Bowie records. The second of these, is the least David Bowie of the two (in a way) owing to the unfortunate inclusion of two quite banal songs written and sung by one of the backing band. On the other hand, the style is more recognisably Bowie than the more purely rock-orientated first album. If you can speed past these two songs the rest of the album has something (just something) of the diversity of Lodger in that it seems to roam around thematically. The instrumentation is simpler than, say, Lodger, but the production is first rate and at times extremely surprising. Reeves Gabrels tones down his guitars and the rhythm section do a professional job. Among the excellent songs are "Goodbye Mr. Ed" which has a complex text and superbly judged vocals. The drumming is first rate. The cover version of "If there is something" is what I'd call good fun, as over the top as Ferry's original but with a harder edge. "Baby Universal" and "Betty Wrong" are effective songs too. The puzzling thing is that the next thing Bowie did was Black Tie White Noise, a huge change from the energetic buzz of this record and in some ways, the TM2 album is the more consistent and in tune with DB's later artistic development.
[Elsewhere I have written about album covers and how they affect your perception of the album. Try not to look at the careless graphics spelling out the album name nor the rather amateur picture of the kouroi. Neither the tone of the font nor the colour nor the content say anything relevant about the tone of the record. Photos of kouroi and a plain font might have worked better but that would appear to still and tranquil for this mostly energetic record. Best of all, a photo of a kouroi exploding (using high speed photography)would have been the best of all.]
on 20 March 2004
This album is not one that has been applauded by critics or Bowie fans but is well worth owning if you're an appreciator of Bowie's incredible work. The idea of David having formed a band in the late 80's/early 90's was dubious to most and laughable to others.
However there's more than a few highly engaging and very listenable tracks on this album and the man himself is right to defend this period of his career from criticism when the result is an enjoyable hour of music such as this.
This is the second and final album released by the 'Tin Machine Project' and is widely opined by those who've been willing to give these works a chance to be better than the first. Surprisingly hard to get hold of, don't miss your chance to hear a Bowie curiosity piece and a great album.
on 12 January 2016
After the clumsiness of the first album, this is a much more refined affair and the musicians actually seem to gel better here. I couldn't quite bring myself to give 5 stars, partly due to the two tracks not sung by Bowie, but it's up there with some of his better solo albums and certainly more rewarding than some of his mid-late 80s output. I hope that this gets a more widespread re-release some time soon as it is a hidden gem, along with Buddha of Suburbia and Pretty Pink Rose (with Adrian Belew). If you can find a copy, it's definitely worth a try.