Nicholas Pegg on Heathen - Part Two
A multi-million selling critical smash, laden with inventiveness, melody, reflection and profoundly questioning lyrics, 'Heathen' was the album everyone was waiting for, back in 2002. As Nick Pegg and I discover, during the course of this second part of our megachat, 'Heathen' touches on many facets of Bowie's artistry over the years. It revisits familiar themes of mortality, angst, identity and God ("Come on God, buck up!") alongside perhaps some of the best music of Bowie's 2000s. Older, wiser and more comfortable in himself, Bowie could address an intransigent Higher Being and rock out exuberant Pixies covers or indeed, pay homage to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy with equal aplomb and conviction. Tony Visconti was back on board for the first time since 1980 (maybe prompting all those "best LP since Scary Monsters" accolades?) and the resulting album is definitely worthy of Visconti's heartfelt tribute, Bowie's 'magnum opus'.
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