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Hours . . . Enhanced


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Audio CD, Enhanced, October 5, 1999
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Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The cliché about David Bowie says he's a musical chameleon, adapting himself according to fashion and trends. While such a criticism is too glib, there's no denying that Bowie demonstrated remarkable skill for perceiving musical trends at his peak in the '70s. After spending several years in the late '60s as a mod and as an ... Read more in Amazon's David Bowie Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B00001QGPR
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,011 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Thursday's Child
2. Something In The Air
3. Survive
4. If I'm Dreaming My Life
5. Seven
6. What's Really Happening?
7. The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell
8. New Angels Of Promise
9. Brilliant Adventure
10. The Dreamers

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

From Outside to Earthling, which were released only two years apart in the late 1990s, the rock & roll chameleon did his best to keep pace with fleeting dance trends, jumping straight from the persona of a post-grunge industrial phantom into that of a drum & bass beatmeister. While both albums were respectable representations of each genre, by switching directions with such angularity, the CDs were ultimately more costume than camouflage. With Hours... David Bowie updates his musical wardrobe, but for the first time in his career he drops the facade. The album is a real-life memoir of loss, regret, and repentance. He boldly intertwines trip-hop rhythms, new-wave nods, Reeves Gabrels's wondrously odd guitar riffs, slow, deliberate ambient tempos, and atmospheric synth accents, all while maintaining a cohesive, otherworldly pop appeal. The CD marks the completion of an ironic circle, where Bowie draws inspiration from contemporary trends borne out of a musical style he invented decades ago. Looks like Major Tom has finally found his way home, and what a gorgeous homecoming it is. --Beth Massa

Product Description

From Outside to Earthling, which were released only two years apart in the late 1990s, the rock & roll chameleon did his best to keep pace with fleeting dance trends, jumping straight from the persona of a post-grunge industrial phantom into that of a drum & bass beatmeister. While both albums were respectable representations of each genre, by switching directions with such angularity, the CDs were ultimately more costume than camouflage. With Hours... David Bowie updates his musical wardrobe, but for the first time in his career he drops the facade. The album is a real-life memoir of loss, regret, and repentance. He boldly intertwines trip-hop rhythms, new-wave nods, Reeves Gabrels's wondrously odd guitar riffs, slow, deliberate ambient tempos, and atmospheric synth accents, all while maintaining a cohesive, otherworldly pop appeal. The CD marks the completion of an ironic circle, where Bowie draws inspiration from contemporary trends borne out of a musical style he invented decades ago. Looks like Major Tom has finally found his way home, and what a gorgeous homecoming it is. --Beth Massa

Customer Reviews

Not bad, not good.
stillravenmad
Only after multiple listenings will the beauty, richness, and depth of Bowie's musical (as well as lyrical) concepts be revealed.
Morgan Wear
It's still a really good CD though, just in a completley different way.
M. A. Ball

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Greg Benson on November 18, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Bowie seems to still be getting a lot of flak for his eighties slump; most rockers his age can rehash and regurgitate and get rewarded by most critics just for showing up. Bowie, on the other hand, has started to really take some chances again with his music, and only a few critics seem to have noticed. While "Hours..." is (consciously or unconsciously)reminiscient of "Hunky Dory" and then "The Man who Sold the World," he has inserted the lyrics of a fifty-something musician who admittedly feels a bit left behind. Well, this is stuff we (adults) can sink our teeth into! I especially love how the album starts out slow and builds up steam; with each listen this approach seems to make more sense. Those who have listened to him for a long time don't always want the sustained energy of "Earthling." (We can't always take it! Sometimes we just want a nice ride!) And we know this is the real thing; Bowie's been giving us the real thing since "Outside" or even before. I think he knows it; too bad it's taken rock critics a while to be convinced.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mud Pyramid on February 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Some of the times an album gets drowned out by an artist's former successes. If an album, from such a performer, does not break new ground it somehow gains less attention than the upstart's albums. This, my fellow legion of Bowie fans, is simply a spectacular album. This is David Bowie easing on the cutting edge for a moment to settle into sound song craftsmanship. How many artists out there can lay claim to so many incredible and unique albums. In my opinion, Bowie has had ten albums I would call incredible, and this fits into that groove. Subtlety rules on this album. A deft hand by both Bowie and Reeves Gabrels has been used on this album to at times fill the empty spaces, and at other times let it flow. To say that I am impressed by this album would be a grand understatement. This is a probably not a great starting point for those not initiated into the Bowie craftsmanship, but to those who love him as much as I do...it's great punctuation to the progressive brilliance.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Ryan on November 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Hours? It's more like years since David Bowie finished an album that was something other than conceptual in its nature. Almost all of his recent album projects have been defined by the styles incorporated, or by a storyline concept (the convoluted but clever Outside, the techno-influenced Earthling, et. al.), but unless I'm missing something, Hours is Bowie's most unencumbered work in quite a while. It's almost like old times, actually, containing a batch of songs that could be heard either together or separately, with no repercussions. As such, it is also some of Bowie's best work in a long time, since the songs coexist snugly without leaning on one another.

Whether it's due to the impending millennium and all of the implications that it brings with it, or personal experiences that have altered his perspective is unclear, but the songs on Hours are anything but opaque. Throughout this album, Bowie is emotionally direct, confronting love and loss with a vulnerability that might surprise those who have him pigeonholed as an artistic poseur. On "Survive", he sings with emotional candor to an estranged (or possibly deceased) lover or friend, "You're the great mistake I never made. I never lied to you, I hated when you lied, and I'll survive your naked eyes...I love you". That in itself is a revelation, since I cannot recall previously hearing Bowie sing the words "I love you". This direct vulnerability expands as the disk continues, with self-searching, emotionally wrought lines like "If I'm dreaming my life, was she ever here" (from "If I'm Dreaming My Life") and "Hold my face before you. Still my trembling heart. Seven days to live my life or seven ways to die (from "Seven").
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "tom_major83" on December 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The album feels like Hunky Dory, except it doesn't. Keeping with the theme of alternate, parallel universes it almost feels like 'hours...' harkens back to when "The Man Who Sold the World" was a flop.
If "The Man Who Sold the World" was a flop, this almost feels like it would be the follow up piece to it, instead of "Hunky Dory." This album is far from hunky dory, but is just as great, and is so beautiful and serene. "Something In the Air" is my fave on the album and "New Angels of Promise" is also very great. In fact, all of the songs have a rich and deep feel to it. If you know a little bowie history, you would know that his career in the 60's was a failure.. he was continually frustrated by his inability to make a hit in the field. that all changed with his fantastic single "Space Oddity." So after that his career was sort of on a fork in the road. He could either follow up with a hit or another flop. If "The Man Who Sold The World" failed, who's to say that there would even be a Hunky Dory, or a Ziggy for that matter? 'hours...' feels like it belongs in the past, but not in THIS past.. it belongs in an alternate universe, a world of regret and missed opportunites.
in this world, where he is truly happy, bowie has had a successful and copious life... 'hours...' is an anthem to what might have been and is another fantastic undertaking by db.
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