In 1980, David Bowie was ready for a change of look. This is normal; in 1969 he was a folkie, in 1970 he was a heavy metal cross-dresser, in 1971 he was a glam folkie, in 1972 he was a glam superstar from another planet named Ziggy, in 1974 he was the ruler of Hunger City named Halloween Jack, in 1975 he was the soul man, in 1976 he was the Thin White Duke, in 1977 he was the Man Who Fell To Earth, and later in 1977 he was the cool german citizen. He had been hanging out in Germany with Brian Eno and Iggy Pop since 1977, and then he decided for a change. This time it was the new wave Bowie; minus Eno, plus guitar master Robert Fripp, he made a new album: Scary Monsters. Preceded by a number one hit single, Ashes To Ashes (A classic even today, as well as the video), the album got a lot of press, and the rest did not disappoint me. After hearing the singles "Fashion" (My second favorite Bowie song of all time) and "Ashes To Ashes", you'd think that everything else would be worse, and some of it is. "Kingdom Come" is a strange, out of place cover, and "Up the Hill Backwards" has a slightly annoying sing-a-long feel that I really don't like too much. But the rest of the album tracks are some of Bowie's best songs. The title track, a less popular single, is much stronger than "Up the Hill Backwards" (strangely a more successful single), and "Because You're Young" and "Scream Like a Baby" are two of the best songs of the 80's. "Teenage Wildlife" feels kind of like a stripped down, slowed down version of "Heroes", with Robert Fripp adding atmospheric guitar parts reminiscent of the ones he did on "Heroes". The only really disappointing track is "It's No Game, Part 2". "It's No Game, Part 1" is an amazing, edgy opener, and Part 2 is calm and sounds kinda like it's 3 in the morning and they have to finish one more song, so they do a reprise.
Anyway, this is an essential, but really only for Bowie fans. If you don't like Bowie, don't start here.
4 out of 5 stars.