Lodger: Review

About one year on from when this idea was coined in my head, I’ve gotten round to my Lodger review.

The album starts quite introspective and sort of melancholy with Fantastic Voyage. Despite the title, I think it’s quite an insular song. And I do love a good old dose of Bowie histrionics, which we are bestowed with at the end of each chorus.

“We’ll get by, I suppose”.

African Night Flight I’m always in two minds about. I like the cramming of the lyrics into what is, really, quite ill-fitting music. There’s something slightly unsettling about the way the song plays. I can take or leave the track really. He gets points for the lyrics cram though.

Move On I do really like. Musically oddly structured with what sounds like a soundtrack from galloping horses (I usually find myself doing a horsy canter to the music) and I do love the backing vocals of aaa eee aaa oooooooo, aaa eee uh oooooooooooooohhhhooooo. I’m very deep like that 😉

Yassassin is a great track. I do love the Turkish influence of the sound.

The album does feel rushed. Sloppy sounding, messy. Almost like Bowie’s heart really isn’t in it. But when you read about him, it seems like his heart is never really in any of them. It’s almost as if he moves on to something else in his mind even before the songs are recorded.

Red Sails has the best sing-a-long ending ever! “The hinterland, the hinterland. We’re gonna sail to the hinterland…”

D.J. I used to absolutely LOVE as a track, the words, the histrionics, the strings, the satire. But in recent years I play my music almost exclusively through headphones (something which rarely happened while I was growing up). As a result, D.J.has become a track that is literally unplayable for me. There is a reverb in the bass drum which sends the whole drumbeat out of sequence and I just cannot hear anything else. It drives me mad – and I HATE IT!

My favourite track on the album is Look Back In Anger. It’s dramatic, dark, pacing, quirky. I love Bowie’s voice on it. And the video is brilliant too. Probably one of the better produced songs on the album.

Following on is Boys Keep Swinging. Another gem, and probably one of the best Bowie videos made.It’s an utter mess sound-wise but at least there is the partial excuse of the musicians swapping instruments on it – but still. A mess, but a ‘good’ mess.

Repetition is a great song too. Bowie delivers it monotone but brilliantly. And kind of rare for Bowie to be political (although this song is probably a sign of things to come as Scary Monsters is a very political album by Bowie standards).

The less we say about Red Money, the better. Iggy Pop’s use of the music for Sister Midnight is FAR superior.

It gets airplay from me. Shame that these days I have to bypass D.J. (because it hurts my ears so). It’s not one that’s ever been on constant rotation, but it certainly gets an airing at times. If I’m really in the mood for Bowie vocal opera, this is one I go to. If not just for the three-in-a-row of Look Back In Anger, Boys Keep Swinging and Repetition – the stand out tracks for me.

It’s middling. Not hated, not loved.

 

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