on 22 February 2002
Its not his best, but then his best is pretty brilliant, so don't hold that against this album. 'Something in the air' in particular is a beautiful song. Its quite an introspective sounding collection, which I like. His voice doesn't seem to be what it was, but it still holds the songs pretty well. I'd buy other albums first, but if you've got them, head for this. You shouldn't be disapointed.
on 26 January 2016
I first became a fan of Bowie as 'Ashes To Ashes' hit the charts in 1980, when I was just eleven. I stayed a big fan throughout most the 80's, especially enjoying buying up his 70's back catalogue as the 80's progressed. However, by the turn of the 90's, I have to admit that I had begun to feel slightly disappointed by his newer releases, with 'Never Let Me Down' being the last straw for me; an album I truly didn't like when I bought it on release. (I know, I'm sorry, but that is how I felt about it at the time and I'm trying to be honest and not be a revisionist following recent events).
I continued to be a fan of so-called 'classic Bowie', but his 90's output completely passed me by.
And then, while browsing through a charity shop in early 2000, a few months after the release of 'Hours', I found a copy of it in mint condition for only £1. I bought it, took it home, and loved it from first play. Because 'Hours' completely re-ignited my love for new David Bowie material (which stayed with me for the rest of his career), it will always remain a special album to me. It is criminally under-rated in my opinion and deserves much more respect and love than it receives.
'Seven' became an instant classic for me and has remained one of my favourite Bowie songs of his entire catalogue. But there is much to enjoy elsewhere.... with Survive, Something in the Air and 'The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell' being highlights for this listener.
Even with the massive resurgence in Bowie's sales, I have noticed that 'Hours' has remained an afterthought for many, but not for me. I love it, and if only you'd give it a chance, maybe you'd love it too.
on 23 May 2015
For me this is one of Bowie's better later albums. All the songs are at worst good and at best terrific. He seems to be in a songwriting mood of not trying to be hip, modern or trendy, just a musician enjoying his music, back to his roots? not really, but where he is but as he wants, not where others want him.
There are some strong hard songs and gentle songs of beauty, with heartfelt vocals. Still with the distinctive sound of heavy rhythm guitar pounding in the mix to keep traditionalists happy, but not sounding out of place.
One could, with tongue in cheek, say it is reasonably easy listening, for Bowie that is, and I don't mean in a bad way, as there is plenty to attract his old audience.
To conclude, to me it seems as if his enjoyment of making this jumps out to the listener and he is not just going through the motions.
on 5 November 1999
David Bowie, who seems never to get any older, has just released this incrediable album, it is in a different vein to the last two, Earthling and 1.Outside. This album is more mellow but still contains all of the typical David Bowie trademarks, great lyrics,music and songs you just love to listen to. I definately recommed this album to all fans and even those who have never listened to the great man's work!
what a pity that this album rarely receives the credit it deserves. Often compared with Hunky Dory, for its musical style, but not given anything like the same positive reaction, this album deserves to be cherished on its own merits.
The music is mostly melodic songs, which are quite wistful in tone, including the quite superb tracks 'Dreaming my life Away, Seven, and Thursdays Child. My personal highlight 'Survive' is a memorable song which stands well within the catalogue of Bowie's best.
Sadly underrated - this album does not deserve to be overlooked. Well worth adding to your collection and playing over and over
on 15 November 2004
If sobriety really is the death of the muse, it may explain the awful slide of the man who was once the worlds greatest songwriter.
OK, so even David doesn't have a clue what great songs like The Bewlay Brothers is about, but Queen Bitch and Five Years must be hard to beat.
So here is a comeback of sorts. This and Heathen add nicely to the catalogue and whilst the reason that comes with maturity and the afformentioned sobriety have sulled creativity a little, this is a huge leap back from the dark days of Tin Machine.
on 11 November 2007
As the lyrics go in 'seven' - but if we had to believe what we read in these reviews we'd never trust our own judgements. I agree with the guy who said this will be a classic in years to come. Let's just get one thing straight about 'Hunky Dory'. That album was accepted by a largely cult following and it was ignored by the masses. Now, it is seen as an absolute classic, but only the superstar nature of Ziggy et al made the public look back and buy. The wheel has now gone full circle. Bowie has a cult status. His fans, and I'm his biggest, adore his music as it is now. Will he ever become a superstar again? No way. And I reckon that's fine by him. But on the day that Mr Bowie departs this world - god forbid when it happens - all the little people will get their first taste of what they should have bought years before. They will listen to 'Seven', 'Survive' and the other compostions on this work of art - and think, do you know, I believed what my mother said. She said he was past it. Don't always believe your mothers, as this man deserves to be canonised when he departs. 'Hours' is the work of a genius.
Wonderful. Beautiful. Lavish. Not since 1983's Let's Dance can I put on one of Bowie's lps and listen to it without jumping tracks or going off to do something less boring instead. Hours is for me a true gem. Soft rock, pop with hints of many other shades. That is what Bowie is and does - he paints and blends colours into shades, he does the same with his music. Many times the shades have had jagged edges when a smooth finish was required or vice versa. Here, on Hours, the colours are perfect.
The following info is designed to help new-comers to point them in the right direction for their own tastes.
The No. * rating is very personal to me and these ratings have never really changed in all the 33 years I've been listening to Bowie. They are how I rate the whole LP/cd compared to other BOWIE output.
During 1990 and 1991 EMI released digitally remastered cds under the title of "SOUND + VISION". Most had bonus tracks... some tracks are poor but some are worth getting.
The following list is not definitive but points out the most accessible cds to newbies of Bowie.
1967 DAVID BOWIE - try getting the DELUXE EDITION, or DERAM ANTHOLOGY (not as complete but a good collection). 60's pop / whimsical / musical hall / very folk. 2*
1969 SPACE ODDITY - Electric folk / folk / soft rock - just like Hunky Dory 5*
1970 - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - Rock / hard rock - not unlike early Black Sabbath. 4*
1971 - HUNKY DORY - Folk / folk rock - just like Space Oddity 5*
1972 - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (aka ZIGGY STARDUST) Rock / glam rock 4*
1973 - ALADDIN SANE - Rock / glam rock 3.5*
1973 - PIN-UPS - 60's cover versions in rock / glam style. 2*
1974 - DIAMOND DOGS. An Orwellian style, bleak lyrics, up-beat rock and shades of soul hidden within. 5*
1974 - DAVID LIVE - The soul is starting to come thru. Not rock, more funk in style but without the funk... confusing !! 1*
1975 - YOUNG AMERICANS - Soul / funk 3*, but every time I play it I think hang on, this is 5* (confused again !!). Try and get the version with, "Who can I be now?", "it's gonna be me" & "John, I'm only dancing, again".
1976 - STATIONTOSTATION - The start of electronics can be heard here. Soul / soft rock 5* at least.
1977 - LOW - and enter BRIAN ENO. This is my fave LP. Bleak, depressing, alienation and very electronic with quiet rock . 5* at least. Also see "Heroes".
1977 - "HEROES" - and BRIAN ENO. This is one of my fave LPs. Bleak, depressing, alienation and very electronic with quiet rock . 5* at least. Also see LOW.
1978 - STAGE - live and brilliant but with fade-outs and gaps between songs. 4*. Life is tried to be pumped into some tunes which are, for me, left more barren and desolate.
1979 - LODGER - and more BRIAN ENO. A right mishmash of sounds and tunes. Took me years to get into this LP. 3* Pop (in a word).
1980 - SCARY MONSTERS & SUPER CREEPS - and this is where I came in. Rock with hints of funk, depression and it contains "Up The Hill Backwards"... my all-time fave single (strange choice I know, especially when I adore Bohemian Rhapsody)
1983 - LET'S DANCE. Disco-esque / soft rock. 4*. This is Bowie's biggest selling LP.
1983 - ZIGGY STARDUST THE MOTION PICTURE. Rock/glam 3.5*
1984 - TONIGHT. See LET'S DANCE but only 1*.
1987 - NEVER LET ME DOWN - see TONIGHT but 2*
1989 91 - TIN MACHINE 1 & 2. Rock. Both 3*
1993 - BLACK TIE /WHITE NOISE Rock/pop with hints of modern R&B. 2*
1993 - THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA. Pop 3*
1995 - 1.OUTSIDE. 2*. God I was wetting myself to hear this when I heard it was the return of BRIAN ENO. God I was disappointed. It's a story (a murder mystery) with only patches of brilliant music. 1*
1997 - EARTHLING. Not knowing what drum & bass is, the making of this cd documentary kept referring to it an D&B. I never got into it. 2*
1999 - HOURS... - pop / soft rock 5*
2002 - HEATHEN - pop / soft rock 4*
2003 - REALITY. Omg, it's 10 years old now. I hadn't realised he had a new cd out upon my return after a holiday. So it went into the shopping trolley my wife was pushing and it has never been very far away from the cd player. For me, I can hear shades of ALADDIN SANE. Pop / rock 5*
2013 - THE NEXT DAY. With it's altered "Heroes" cover ...(to be updated after its release)
on 10 March 2000
When I first heard Thursday's Child I was dismayed. The song took ages to grow on me, but great music often does. I resisted the temptation to submit a review of this album when it was first released - how can you be objective about an album which you haven't lived with for a while?
If this was a vinyl album I suppose you would say that the A-side is fantastic - vintage Bowie - emotive, exciting, melodic, inspiring and beguiling. The second half of the album is much more patchy and apart from "The Pretty Things..." reminds this listener of some of Bowie's less interesting ventures i.e. "Black Tie" and "Tonight".
I hate to sound pessimistic though - the first five tracks - "Thursday's Child", "Something In The Air", "Survive", "If I'm Dreaming My Life" and the exquisite "Seven" are fantastic.
I guess it all boils down to expectations - there are very few albums where every track is a winner - "Aladdin Sane", "Blood on the Tracks", "St Dominic's Preview" maybe, but if you appreciate Bowie's special talent then I feel that 6 excellent tracks out of 10 is about as much as we can reasonably expect from a man who has made more great albums than any other artist.
on 23 November 2003
I've never seen how or why Bowie fans have been so Harsh about "Hours..." in my honest opinion it, it was his "return to form" album, after the average "Outside" & "Earthling", "Hours..." was stripped down, and back to basics, gone were all the electronic industrial beats, just leaving us with Bowie and his guitar, it's admitadly not as good as 2002's "Heathen", but "Hours..." is very accessable, any one of the tracks to could be singles stand out tracks are "Survive", Thursday's Child", "Seven", and "All The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell" I also Love "Brilliant Adventure" it's an instrumental, this album is generally easy listening apart from ATPTAGTH