Artist: David Bowie
Title: “Aladdin Sane”
Format: CD-R (Spotify)
First listen: What the heck? I thought this was supposed to be one of Bowie’s best.
Second spin: All right, “The Jean Genie” is a strong blues rock single and the title track is interesting. Whatever. Still not impressed.
Third time: You know, he uses quite an array of instruments and arrangements here. Actually . . .
Fourth time around: By jove, I think I’ve got it!
And so it is with “Aladdin Sane,” the definition of why I listen to albums multiple times before I review them. For me, it’s a familiar pattern with Bowie. His albums are growers. The compositions are not always as obvious as “The Jean Genie,” but that adds to its strength.
Considered a thematic continuation of the Ziggy Stardust character, now visiting America, “Aladdin Sane” works in a variety of styles – glam rock, jazz, blues, experimental.
The title track buries Bowie’s vocals and accents Mike Garson’s quirky piano effort. “Time” overcomes its silly lyrics and delivers with grandiosity. “Panic in Detroit” is a rollicking mid-tempo rocker.
It lacks the conceptual and musical cohesion of “Ziggy Stardust,” but “Aladdin Sane” earns a listen – or four – on its own merits.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.