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Lodger

4.3 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Remastered 1979 album includes "Fantastic Voyage","DJ","Boys Keep Swinging","Yassassin"
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 1979
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B00001OH7X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,813 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Bushman VINE VOICE on September 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
David Bowie has made many fine albums and I own most of them. However, I am always a little surprised that this one seems to get overlooked. My friend loaned me the vinyl when we were in high school in the early 80's (his purchase no doubt prompted by the cool "DJ" video then in heavy rotation on MTV) and I have always returned to it over the years.

To me, Lodger is right up there with Station to Station, Scary Monsters, etc. I have always thought that the late 70's marked the apogee of Bowie's career, where he was at once leading and transcending the New Wave then in vogue by inventing new sounds and new ways to rock out. The rocking out part is key here; you want to crank this record up. Boys Keep Swinging, DJ and Look Back in Anger are take-no-prisoners workouts. I can't tell you how many mix tapes I have made that included Red Sails.
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Format: Audio CD
Not usually considered to be Bowie's best, 'Lodger' is a jewel waiting to be rediscovered and reconsidered - as one of Bowie's most daring and underrated ventures. I might be out of my mind - but I just love the eno/Bowie collaborations - even when they sound dated (musically speaking) there is an undeniable charm. It is also one of Bowie's most contagious albums - I find I can't get some of the songs out of my head for hours after I have listened to the album!
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Format: Audio CD
With a career as varied as Bowie's, it is all but impossible to pick a favorite album, especially since he's assumed so many guises and toyed with his sound as much as his image. If you are talking about social impact, Ziggy Stardust would be the likely winner. If you're talking about scraunching rock and roll performed with an attitude that transcends mere mortals, then Aladdin Sane might cop the prize. For inventiveness, Low could win. It all depends what you are looking for, but if it is possible to judge Bowie's work objectively (a ridiculous thought, actually) then what album contains the best of all his virtues? Probably Lodger.

Lodger hits upon so many touchstones that it is practically impossible to categorize, even for Bowie. Everything that it does, it does with elan. World music, atmospherics, driving rock and roll, pensive ballads, phenomenal musicianship and stunning lyrics flow from this album with such grace and ease that it is almost easy to overlook just how creative it all is, especially as a package. The `hits' are among Bowie's best, from the smarmy, sarcastic 1-2 punch of "D.J." to the tongue-in-cheek mannerisms of "Boys Keep Swinging," they are flawless in their execution. Adrian Belew's guitar work on the latter song is so over-the-top loony that it inspires fits of laughter and admiration.

Bowie's palette is so broad on Lodger that it overwhelms. It is hard to fathom what sort of imagination could conjure the stream of consciousness reverie of "African Night Flight" as well as the dream-state playfulness of "Red Sails", only to accurately capture the mental state of a frustrated wife-beater with "Repetition" and reflections on mortality suggested by the beautiful "Fantastic Voyage.
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Format: Audio CD
This is third and final album in the Eno trilogy. However, Bowie was clearly more in control here. Gone are the instrumentals, and in come ten vocal tracks. Of course, Eno is all over this record. Listen to African Night Flight and Yassasin and Eno quirky influence is easy to hear. Somehow, Bowie managed to weave some songs in between the strange rhythms and clicks, and it really works. I'd listen to African Night Flight just for those crazy crickets.
Apart from the tracks that were singles at the time (Boys Keep Swinging and DJ) there are other Bowie diamonds here. Red Sails is wonderful - and includes an unedited guitar solo where Carlos Alomar badly flubs and then recovers - wonderful!
Red money is also a great track. Actually, after all these years, Repetition becomes a favorite of mine also. Never have I heard a song about domestic violence that so clearly displays the monotonous life of a frustrated man - and his casual disregard of his wife. This is highlighted by a dead-pan delivery from Bowie, and an annoying buzz for a melody. It really works.
Add to that Move On and Look Back in Anger and I find I have mentioned every track on thew album. Which illustrates the high regard I have for this work. Even at the time it was released it was another Bowie effort that refused to comply with the thinking of popular music at the time. It still doesn't.
I can't imagine a Bowie fan won't find a lot to like here.
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Format: Audio CD
This album definitely merits more study by people who find it dull. There is no Bowie album which is more art-referential than "Lodger," and a cursory listing of its musical attributes only tells half the story. I've often kept the cover art for the vinyl version on my wall since it was released. It's a unique work of art and never ceases to inspire me.
Unfortunately, many of the graphic elements that made the cover and inner sleeve such a perfect pop koan have not been reproduced in CD form, an omission which is sadly true for virtually all of his CD reissues.
The strange enigma of a cover is a reference to the dadaist Francis Picabia's "Portrait of Cezanne," as well as to Bowie's gatefold image in "Aladdin Sane." Like that album, "Lodger" takes us on a whirlwind tour of landscapes that may or may not exist, but in an inner terrain enabled by Jungian symbolism and dadaist vitriol. It adds up to a form of synthetic modernism that is absolutely unique among Bowie records.
To say that "Lodger" is weak on any level is really to underestimate Bowie's perspective on the future and his own past, to overlook the fact that before Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, Malcolm McLaren or Paul Simon did their own take on the issue, Bowie was looking to the very foundations of rock to trace the evolution of modern Western consciousness. "Lodger" creates its own language of simulationism which remains unprecedented in pop music. This album is ABSOLUTE genius folks!
Since when is ennui NOT a proper subject for art? I seriously discount the idea that the song "Fantastic Voyage" refers to anything besides Bowie's depression. It's a worthy introduction to a treatise on cultural colonialism (revived in the video for "China Girl" as well as the visual theme for his "Serious Moonlight Tour.
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