Review: Black Tie White Noise (10th Anniversary Edition)

by Paul Stump / Uncut

2003

BLACK TIE, WHITE NOISE  EMI
Lavish two-CD repackaging for Bowie’s 1993 return-to-form

An album supposedly atoning for Tin Machine, Bowie even signed up Let’s Dance producer Nile Rodgers as an avatar of renewal (although some critics baulked at the explicit address of this album to new bride Iman).

Maybe it’s the excitingly extravagant garnish of remixes and singles, but this feels like a confident and estimable piece of work. Tin Machine was Bowie’s musical midlife crisis and attempted rock’n’rebirth, fooling nobody and appalling everybody. Black Tie finds him on safer ground, earnestly tinkering at the camp interface of contemporary rock and soul. Sadly, it also heralds Bowie’s retreat into a hyper-sleek musical exoskeleton of studio perfection. Allowing tricky technical nods to contemporaneity, it also winnows out soul and substance. Bowie pussyfoots around a tune like “I Feel Free” instead of yanking it into his own here and now; only namesake Lester Bowie’s trumpet forces him to take control of the title track and “Jump They Say”.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Press

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s