This is one of the most overrated albums of all-time by one of rock's all-time overrated artists. Bowie's exaggerated melodramatic and melodic vocal style harks back to the crooners of old. The kitschy arrangements of his disposable anthemic music is staged and choreograped to the enth degree to the point that it sounds like a cariacture of Scott Walker, Jacques Brel and Anthony Newley.
For me, this album sums up all that was wrong with what became the glam-rock genre of the decade in which it was released and for which Bowie was the catalyst. Bowie cynically diluted Lou Reed's genuinelly anarchic decadence on the one hand, and turned on its head Andy Warhol's radical critique of consumerism on the other. What emerged was a shallow, calculating self-publicist and an inventor of artificial stances and attitudes - a superficial showman whose compositions are facile and cliched and for whom "image" is everything.
It is surely no coincidence that a generation of successive artists who followed the trajectory trod by Bowie were also to produce equally lightweight and facile music, perhaps most notably Morrissey. For something much more substantial and interesting from that era and that genre, I recommend Roxy Music's debut classic album.
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