Friday, February 19, 2016

29 Days of Bowie: Tin Machine II

Released on September 2, 1991 by Victory Records, Tin Machine II is the second and final studio release from the band as it marks a continuation into loud, abrasive rock n’ roll as well as experiment into the world of industrial rock and other forms of music that was part of the culture of alternative rock. Produced with Tim Palmer and Hugh Padgham, the album has the band not just up the ante into their sound but also add more melodic elements as vocalist/guitarist/saxophonist David Bowie, guitarist Reeves Gabrels, bassist/vocalist Tony Sales, and drummer/vocalist Hunt Sales along with guitarist/keyboardist Kevin Armstrong provide an album that is all rock and nothing else.

The album’s three singles in Baby Universal, One Shot, and You Belong in Rock N’ Roll showcase a band coming into its own as Baby Universal is this fast, upbeat rocker with some hard-hitting rhythms, soaring guitar work, and Bowie’s blaring vocals as it includes some very intense lyrics about a world gone wrong. One Shot is this mid-tempo cut that owes a lot to the style of the Pixies in terms of being soft in some parts but loud in other parts with Bowie singing joyful yet fun lyrics with his voice and some bopping rhythms from the Sales brothers that really make the song stand out. You Belong in Rock N’ Roll is a song that mixes elements of folk with a bopping rhythm that includes Tony Sales’ melodic bass lines and some guitar spurts from Gabrels as Bowie sings some very cool lyrics that expresses the world of love. A cover of Roxy Music’s If There is Something has the band giving the song a more upbeat approach with some hard-hitting drums while Gabrels provides some blazing solos with Bowie bring very calm in his vocals until its coda as he sings Bryan Ferry’s abstract lyrics as it’s a fantastic cover.

Amlapura is this slow, folk-based ballad that has Bowie singing some calm, somber lyrics while playing a 12-string acoustic as it is later filled by some intense instrumentation by the Hunt brothers and Gabrels’ soothing yet wailing guitar. Betty Love is a track that features mid-tempo rhythms, crunchy guitar riffs, and soothing vocals from Bowie that also has him playing saxophone while the more driving rocker You Can’t Talk as Bowie sing some weird vocals with some pulsating rhythms as well as displaying some playful riffs with him and Gabrels where the latter provide some solos. Shopping for Girls is one of the album’s darkest tracks as it relates to the world of child prostitution where it’s this mid-tempo track with some swirling guitars by Gabrels and folk-based guitars where Bowie sings very fast as it plays into some dark imagery in the song.

Hunt Sales sings lead vocals on two tracks in the blues-based Stateside that features a slow, steady rhythm, only to go fast in its bridge, with some wailing solo from Gabrels with Hunt providing some bluesy lyrics to a growling vocal with Tony Sales and Bowie singing backup. The other in Sorry is this folk-based track with acoustic textures and low-key saxophones from Bowie while Hunt Sales sing some somber lyrics in his wailing vocals with Gabrels providing soft textures into the guitar. A Big Hurt is this hard-hitting rocker with blazing drums and squealing guitars with Bowie being very confrontational and playful while singing in a wailing snarl that showcases a sense of energy to the song. The album closer Goodbye Mr. Ed is this driving, mid-tempo track that has Bowie sing some strange, dream-like lyrics as it plays into the world gone wrong as it features a steady rhythm as well as some cool guitar textures from Gabrels. The song would feature a secret track called Hammerhead as it is this upbeat instrumental filled with bopping rhythms, wailing guitars, and a blaring saxophone from Bowie.

Tin Machine II is a marvelous album from Tin Machine. Not only is it a more focused and realized album from the band but it also showcases that the band can provide something that is accessible but also loud. In the end, Tin Machine II is an excellent album from Tin Machine.

Studio Releases: David Bowie (1967 album) - David Bowie (1969 album) - The Man Who Sold the World - Hunky Dory - The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - Aladdin Sane - Pin Ups - Diamond Dogs - Young Americans - Station to Station - Low - "Heroes" - Lodger - Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) - Let’s Dance - Tonight - Never Let Me Down - Tin Machine - Black Tie White Noise - Outside - Earthling - ‘Hours…’ - Heathen - Reality - The Next Day - *

Live Releases: David Live - Stage - Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars - Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby - Bowie at the Beeb - (Live at Fashion Rocks (w/ Arcade Fire)) - (Live Santa Monica ‘72) - (Glass Spider Live) - (VH1 Storytellers) - (A Reality Tour)

Soundtracks: Christiane F. - Labyrinth - The Buddha of Suburbia

Miscellaneous: Peter and the Wolf - Baal - Sound + Vision - (Early On (1964-1966)) - (All Saints) - Toy - (Nothing Has Changed)

© thevoid99 2016

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