RELEASE
1975
LABEL
Virgin
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Soul, Album Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul, Dance-Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Experimental Rock, Art Rock

Album Review

David Bowie had dropped hints during the Diamond Dogs tour that he was moving toward R&B, but the full-blown blue-eyed soul of Young Americans came as a shock. Surrounding himself with first-rate sessionmen, Bowie comes up with a set of songs that approximate the sound of Philly soul and disco, yet remain detached from their inspirations; even at his most passionate, Bowie sounds like a commentator, as if the entire album was a genre exercise. Nevertheless, the distance doesn't hurt the album -- it gives the record its own distinctive flavor, and its plastic, robotic soul helped inform generations of synthetic British soul. What does hurt the record is a lack of strong songwriting. "Young Americans" is a masterpiece, and "Fame" has a beat funky enough that James Brown ripped it off, but only a handful of cuts ("Win," "Fascination," "Somebody up There Likes Me") comes close to matching their quality. As a result, Young Americans is more enjoyable as a stylistic adventure than as a substantive record.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Young Americans
  2. Win
  3. Fascination
  4. Right
  5. Somebody Up There Likes Me
  6. Across the Universe
  7. Can You Hear Me
  8. Fame