If Station to Station
was the brilliant-in-its-own-right transition album, Low
stands as the pinnacle of Bowie's career, perhaps not in terms of being his most solid album, rather that his career was at this point the most far ahead of the competition.
For while Bowie had been a little behind the curve with hard rock, singer/songwriter, and Glam, on Low
he's ahead of the pack, making music that informed post-punk, still several years away, and arguably making music that sounds only fractionally dated almost 30 years later. Joy Division, one of the most celebrated post-punk bands, went so far as to originally name themselves Warsaw, after the opening track on this album's second side.
While the core team of Murray, Davis, and Alomar are still in place from Station to Station
, the traditional band structure is very much subverted, and it's the production team of Bowie and Tony Visconti, as well as guest keyboardist Brian Eno, who are most influential on the album's sound. But the songs of Low
are only a facet of the album's appeal - its sonic innovations and haunting atmospheres are equally if not more important.
was recorded in Berlin, the first of Bowie and Eno's 'Berlin Trilogy', and accordingly the influence of German bands like Neu! is apparent, but it's also influenced by Eno's own work, and also pulled in a new direction by Bowie's own vision.
In terms of structure, the record is broken down into distinct halves. The first side is made up of disjointed / fragmented songs, often minimalist, while the second side consists of four extended ambient instrumentals.
Highlights from the first side include the bouncy and melodic "Sound and Vision", and the accessible "Be My Wife", although the honour of most distinctive piece probably goes to "Breaking Glass", with its brief recurring Eno keyboard motif that sets the tone, along with the memorable don't look at the carpet - I drew something awful on it
by Reviewer: Fyfeopedia
(blogging at Fyfeopedia [Defunct]