Rolling Stone (10/19/95, p.148) - 3 Stars - Good - "...a potent collection of avant-garage riffs and rhythm notions....tense Euro-dance propulsion....layered circular-guitar locomotion....a ferociously distorted whirl of slaughterhouse jive..."
Spin (10/95, pp.116-117) - 6 - Reasonably Good - "...his most substantial album since SCARY MONSTERS....There are few pop hooks and the dissonant, well-played arrangements often recall recent King Crimson..."
Q (10/95, p.113) - 3 Stars - Good - "...A bold and fascinating trip to offer his devoted listenership. OUTSIDE is undoubtedly Bowie's most dense and uncompromising work since SCARY MONSTERS...and, as suggested on BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE it's clear that he is once again imaginatively sparking with life..."
Alternative Press (10/95, p.63) - "...this is the best Bowie album in years....OUTSIDER shows Bowie can still let loose....Bowie...has not sounded this musical since SCARY MONSTERS..."
Melody Maker (10/14/95, p.39) - "...a clattering, funk-based stream-of-consciousness sound collage....this 48-year-old man is closer to the futurist edge than most of the 18-year-old babies we regularly canonise in these pages..."
NME (Magazine) (9/23/95, p.46) - 7 (out of 10) - "...no, it isn't the hoped-for addition to the Eno/Bowie LOW, HEROES, LODGER avant pop run. It is more the rock opera of DIAMOND DOGS minus the glam, plus the F-f-f-fashion funk and the S&M Gilbert & Sullivans. A bit sicko, a bit Dickensian, a bit future-past..."
Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, guitar, saxophone, keyboards); Reeves Gabrels, Carlos Alomar, Tom Frish, Kevin Armstrong (guitar); Mike Garson (piano); Erdal Kizilcay (keyboards, bass); Brian Eno (synthesizer); Yossi Fine (bass); Sterling Campbell, Joey Baron (drums); Bryony, Lola, Josey, Ruby Edwards (background vocals).
Producers: David Bowie, Brian Eno, David Richards.
Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, guitar, saxophone, keyboards); Reeves Gabrels (guitar); Mike Garson (grand piano); Erdal Kizilcay (keyboards); Brian Eno (synthesizer); Joey Barron, Sterling Campbell (drums).
Audio Mixer: David Richards .
Recording information: Mountain Studios, Switzerland.
In the cyber-drenched 1990s, David Bowie once again proves himself ahead of the game. OUTSIDE is more a monumental collage of techno-war coldness than a mere album. Bowie combines the most essential pieces of each of his previous personas and musical styles to make OUTSIDE into an all-too-dense song-cycle with a story-line. Sound-wise, it is a closer musical approximation of "industrial" noise than the throbbing tones created by most young guns half his age.
OUTSIDE begins with the premise that the action is taking place here and now ("not tomorrow"), in a fading industrial town in New Jersey, circa 1995. A place that is littered with characters facing inhuman desperation as "rejects from the world-wide internet," making plans to "lease the moon" above their shop. Musically, Bowie reaches for the same densely evocative landscapes that make OUTSIDE's themes so disconcertingly real. A perverse mish-mash of booming classical piano trills loop in and out of machine-like drums and Bowie's schizophrenic monologues. Through the different characters we see the horrible truths of our dying culture--romance, for instance, is brought down with the admission, "if there was only something between us...besides our clothes." OUTSIDE is happening right now, right here.