DAVID BOWIE -- Earthling (Virgin)

David Bowie has never been one to conform to what other artists are doing. He draws upon whatever musical influences he's into at the time, then transforms them into something new and unique. You want a disc to test your sound system? This is the one. The songs on Earthling are hard hitting and aggressive. The industrial blast of "Little Wonder," practically explodes out of your speakers to start off the disc. Bowie came up with a great hook on the chorus, and Byron Allred's drumming on the track is spectacular.

One of the best tracks on the CD is "Seven Years in Tibet." The eerie vocals on the verses quietly slither from the speakers, only to knock you out of your seat with the aural assault on the chorus."I'm Afraid of Americans" is another great song, with a major Nine Inch Nails influence. In an unprecedented move for a major artist, Bowie debuted the first single ("Telling Lies") on the internet last summer. A different version of the song appears on the new CD. Bowie is clearly stoked on this CD, and deservedly so. Earthling contains some of his best and most innovative work to date.

© 1997 Steve Marshall