The third album in The Berlin Trilogy is perhaps the most controversial. Bowie and Eno no longer seemed interested in creating texturally-rich synthscapes as before - rather, all ten of these tracks are more or less Art-house dance songs.
The duo apparently still wanted to experiment, hence every single one of these songs sounds like they're on drugs ... the melodies are weird, the instrumentation is weirder, and Bowie's singing sounds crazed and paranoid (he even freaked out the entire USA by performing this material on an episode of Saturday Night Live!
Although I think people watching it were probably more freaked out over the dress and earrings he was wearing).
The first time I heard Lodger
, I was not a big fan of it. The one quality that Bowie was almost always good for on his previous albums, including most of his later ones, was writing accessible music. Whilst this album is more accessible than Captain Beefhheart's Trout Mask Replica
, I found it pretty difficult to wrap my head around. Much of the music on Lodger
is off-the-wall, obscure, and even occasionally ugly. But after I listened to it more, these dang messed-up songs eventually grew on me (and I think my mind got warped in the process).
The first half of the album contains what's easily the weirdest and least accessible songs. It also seems to be a loose mini-concept album about sailing to Africa and Turkey (on drugs). It opens with “Fantastic Voyage”, a catchy if somewhat off-puttingly lethargic song that places you right into that drug-induced haze. If you're listening to Lodger
for the first time, and you find that song a little too
freaky, then press 'Stop' on your music player, because your brain might explode if you dare listen to anything else on here.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews