David Bowie

Hallo Spaceboy

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The Pet Shop Boys don't remix, they assimilate. Like they did in 1991 with U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Hallo Spaceboy" appears here markedly different in character from its original version. On Bowie's Outside, that track stood out as a true gem; uncompromisingly stark and violent, and the most successful spin since Scary Monsters on his recurring "urban nightmare" motif. The Pet Shop Boys drain out the blood and adrenaline for their take, and inject a heaping dose of sugar and ecstasy -- not to mention liberally applying Neil Tennant's vocals over Bowie's. Surprisingly, however, the club beats and easy melodies don't ruin the song. The drama remains, it just feels less uncompromising, and much less disturbing. Meanwhile, the Gail Ann Dorsey-assisted performance of "Under Pressure" is a mere curiosity, and "Moonage Daydream," for all its '90s goth makeup, just can't top the original. Finally, there just isn't any point in including, yet again, "Heart's Filthy Lesson." The original cut of "Hallo Spaceboy" would have been better appreciated.

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