David Bowie – Young Americans

Bowie the fakir — black-faced, bland, and coming on like kid Bacall, smolder-husk and all — never gets on top of his soul move. The problem is slack execution of slickness. Almost unrelievedly passive in its expressionism, Young Americans is a con. The man’s trademark cursory conviction (the articulation of a perfectly alienated soul) is nearly absent. Except on more open-faced songs (“Win,” “Fame,” and the glib title track), it’s hard to enjoy the chapped chap Quiet Storming the malls of America with ironic muzak, each sigh a virtual holocaust. His rubber soul is as flaky and flat as that which he attempts to deconstruct. Subversive this record is not.

As added proof of the fractured Bowie’s fatigue with the pressure to surprise and change, check out the Y.A. reject, “Who Can I Be Now?” It’s a dandy.

Rating: C+


About Jack Cormack

Email Jack at jackyboy916@gmail.com.