David Bowie - Hours

Bowie, yet again, has taken his music to a place where I least expected. Not only reversing the superlatively orchestrated retreats into self parody, as witnessed on his two most recent releases, but also managing to somehow bring life and soul back to the darkly lit super hero he'd painstakingly become.

And hand in hand with the image comes the music, this time presented by a man who evidently thinks it's time to take stock of his life so far, to sing about his place in time, unfalteringly supported by Reeves Gabrels who makes Bowie's every utterance glow like magic.

But how can we justify reviewing a release that is predominantly powered by the guitar and full of songs? Well, listen closer.

Not only to the string pads that help drive the opener, Thursdays Child, but to the sounds that occupy the spaces between bass, drums and vocal harmonies. The electronically derived sounds that appear fleetingly but effectively - never to appear again - and to the barely perceptible but critically important samples that help make up the rhythm patterns, or the processor intensive digital signal processes that are blended in with Bowie's actual voice.

Only then will you hear the electronic music.

Rating - 882,230 (out of a possible 1,000,000)