David Bowie - Heroes LP
One of Bowie's more stellar moments working with Brian Eno, Heroes again sees the artist moving into barely chartered waters (at that point, 1977), creating moving, emotive rock and putting it right up against some very detached and futuristic synthesized sounds. The collection opens with a ferocious rocker, courtesy of Robert Fripp's taut, snarling guitars ("Beauty and the Beast"), and then slides into the roar of "Joe the Lion" without missing a beat. Bowie's vocals have rarely sounded as desperate as they are on "Heroes," the anguished "Blackout" rages on a peculiarly up beat, and suddenly the listener finds they've slipped into a parallel world of icy soundscapes. The next four tracks present glassy synthesizers, stark piano, the ping of Asian-styled guitars, and other styles presumably left over or influenced by the Low recordings. The delicate "Moss Garden" is particularly beautiful, and "Sense of Doubt" is brooding and ominous. The closer, "The Secret Life of Arabia," moves with the rhythm of a snake charmer, and Bowie's vocals are irrepressibly intoxicating. Challenging, and worth the effort.