Low

by David Bowie

Released January 14, 1977 via RCA Records

Reviewed January 12, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Sound and Vision (69%), Warszawa (48%), Always Crashing in the Same Car (39%)

Low is the first of Bowie’s famous Berlin Trilogy, which pushed popular music to reach new heights in the veins of post-punk, post-rock, synth-pop, industrial rock, ambient, and acoustic brit-pop. This record is mostly responsible for the former three, also foreshadowing elements of the new wave that would strike in the following decade, and triggered a creative spurt in Bowie’s long and prosperous career after a slight stagnation in a clouded era gripped tightly by his cocaine addiction. Bowie acknowledges a rage and aggression seen in his contemporaries and pushes down on it with his bare hands, clutching it tightly like it were a sphere of energy, preventing an explosion that would never recover face. As a result, even Low’s more upbeat moments, like the upwards reaching riffs on “Speed of Sound” or the bubbling synths on “What in the World,” exhibit a slight repression of angst without letting up any power over the listener. Brian Eno’s electronic touches and Bowie’s newfound philosophy are most notably paired on the instrumental side of the record, which is particularly characteristic of those aforementioned “post-” sub-genres. Low concretely laid the groundwork for a significant portion of music heard over the following twenty-five years, including then-wacky instrument-technology combinations and contextually-driven formatting such as the ‘comeback’ or ‘reinvention’ album. A quiet phenomenon. – Cam (10/10)


David Bowie's 11th studio album, Low, takes notes from German bands such as Kraftwerk, Neu, and Tangerine Dream as it explores the more experimental side of Bowie's repertoire. The first in Bowie's 'Berlin' trilogy and the re-kindling with Tony Visconti produces a first half plethora of revered art-rock. “Warszawa” begins the second half in a similar way to The Talking Heads’ Remain in Light B-side. The drawn-out section plays out like the aftermath of an atomic bomb; windswept and withered––undeniably beautiful. Brian Eno's touch had great influence on the sound and vision in both cases. Bowie is an omnipresent figure on the music scene, a sure sign that things never really die, with influence and attitude being the silver lining of existence. – Peter (8.5/10)


Cam: 10/10 | Jared: 10/10 | Alan: 9.2/10 | Hadley: 9/10 | Pax: 8.8/10 | Ben (Synth): 8.5/10 DeVán: 8.5/10 | Peter: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 8/10 | Henny: 6.2/10