'Tin Machine II'; Tin Machine; Victory Music/Polygram. A smattering of recent releases gives a taste of styles ranging from blues, folk, musical theater, classical, rap, and rock. The writers share 11 compact discs they find noteworthy.
Led by chameleon rocker David Bowie, Tin Machine's second effort is like old Bowie before he was seduced by pop music. Where his '80s anthem was the smoothly styled "Let's Dance," this compact disc is a wild ride through rock-and-roll history. Tightly strung together with trademark Bowie vocals - at times throaty, robotic, raspy, or panting - is guitar and drum work from the best rock traditions.Reeves Gabrels joined Bowie in writing most of the music, and it reflects both Bowie's musical past and Gabrels's gamut-running guitar influences. Hunt Sales's drums and Tony Sales's bass round out the four-man band. Standout tunes: relentless drumming and flaring guitar on "You Belong in Rock-and-Roll." The Eastern-scented acoustic guitar and strains of The Who in "Amlapura." Bowie's vocals remind us that he's the model for punk- and post-punk singers like Richard Butler of Psychedelic Furs. "You Can't Talk" pays tribute to Jimi Hendrix, and "A Big Hurt" spoofs Van Halen.