This is so corny. I remember when I first listened to this in 2010, I really didn’t want to listen to these songs more than once. I appreciate it a whole lot more now than I did then though, even if it isn’t totally for me. Still, there are some things that I really like here.
For starters, it’s not at all like those 1966 songs which were more like the rock songs of that time. This is much more folky. Well, really it sounds like it’s for children despite some adult lyrical content. I may like cute things, but I still don’t listen to children’s songs. In fact, earlier in the week during my break in the teacher’s room I read an AV Club article about The Man Who Sold the World, and about how the band he had gathered together had been really skeptical about the music they’d be making with Bowie, since he was a folk singer and they were rock music players who didn’t care for folk. As it turns out, Bowie isn’t good at writing folk songs. He’s good at writing songs, period.
The instrumentation and actual songs aren’t bad at all. I would love to hear these all redone the way he would later do London Boys on Toy. The piano sounds wonderful, the string arrangements are great, and the horns remind me of early ELO in a very good way. The vocal melodies and style just don’t do a thing for me though. It’s storytelling, and it goes a lot with what I’ve read about early Bowie. Since even the ’60s, he wanted to do plays and musicals, and around the time this came out, I read that he had been working on a play. Not surprisingly, as it turns out, Bowie was a big fan of Syd Barrett, because these have a really similar feel to the kind of music Barrett was making at the time.
The whole album may not be for me, but there were a couple songs I really liked and will definitely be revisiting. Love You Till Tuesday has amazing string accents, a melody that’s toe-tapping catchy, and the dorky charm of his debut works wonders here.
When I Live My Dream is another essential one. It opens with the Be My Baby beat, and it’s so touching and cute. I’m sitting here listening to it now and can’t help but smile and tear up a little.