Sound — 8
First, before we get into the review, lets establish one fact. Unlike many things, such as fine wines or sweets that have gotten stuck between the cushions of the settee, musicians (generally speaking) do not improve with age. Take Bob Dylan, or Melanie Safka. How can they still possess all the raw energy they had back in their glory days? However, in David Bowie's case, the later the recording has got, the more bizarre and eclectic the style has become. The album kicks off on a high, the truly amazing acoustic strains of 'Space Oddity'and 'Starman' alongside rockers 'Ziggy Stardust', 'Jean Genie', and 'Suffragette City' softening us up for the blow of what is to come; the second disc. Here cometh the trance, in the shape of a radio edit of 'Hallo Spaceboy'. But I'm not really being fair- if your a Bowie fanatic you will love this album as it covers pretty much the whole of his career so far, right up to his 'Heathen' album. So, the sound, really, is great. There's everything here you love about Bowie but in a few hiccups there's everything you hate too.
Lyrics — 6
You cannot disagree with the fact that Bowie truly is a seminal artist when it comes to his vocals. he possesses a truly amazing voice which helps carry some of his lesser, shall we say the 'filler' songs through till the end. But as for his lyrics. Well, you tell me. I ain't the sharpest pencil in the box, so if the songs are really about the breadown of fascism, the Cold War and a psychoanalysis of a rockstar called Pink in a downward spiral, I ain't going to catch on to it. I like the straightforward ones, Space Oddity is very easy to follow, but the lyrics ultimately don't matter. About ten seconds after Jean Genie was over, I suddenly realized that I'd sang along the whole way but didn't know what the hell he was talking about. But who can argue, it's Bowie?
Overall Impression — 8
This is a good place to start if you want to find out what Bowie's all about, buy this or Ziggy Stardust if thats what you want to do. This covers pretty much everything, every style, every sound, every gimmick, that Bowie has ever done. So, if you don't like one or two songs on the album, look 'em up and don't buy those albums, cuz if you don't like the one song you aint gonna like the rest of the album, shweetheart. I prefer his earlier tracks; to me its a much purer sound, but what do I know? No-one could put together a better Bowie compilation than this. And really, isn't that the best compliment that could be given about such an album?