Earthling album cover
Earthling

David Bowie

1996
Arista

While 1. Outside and the subsequent tour found David Bowie in solid creative health, the album’s push-pull nature, neither commercially focused nor fully experimental, didn’t quite connect as it could. For his follow-up, Bowie squarely succeeded all around: Earthling found him fully comfortable not only with his own legacy but with current fashion and sounds, with the skittering beats of jungle providing a basis for songs like “Telling Lies” and “Little Wonder” while “I’m Afraid of Americans,” later rerecorded with Trent Reznor, embraced industrial-rock stomp.

Ned Raggett

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