I’m not a video game guy, so I never played Omikron: The Nomad Soul, which David Bowie and Reeves Gabrels wrote the music for in 1999. I thought I might try playing it now — cause why not? — but 24 years later, it is still a PC-only game, so that’s not going to happen. It’s probably just as well. Part of the reason I’m not a video game guy is that I get obsessed; after losing a couple of nights to Sim City many years ago, I put a stop to the whole thing.
“New Angels of Promise” was originally written for Omikron, as the lyrics make clear enough:
You didn’t feel us coming in this lonely crowd
But when David repurposed it for hours…, he changed “Omikron” to “suspicious minds,” in an apparent nod to his role model and co-birthdayist Elvis Presley.
Of course, Elvis didn’t write “Suspicious Minds” — that was Mark James, also the author of “Always on My Mind” and “Hooked on a Feeling.” Truth be told, Elvis didn’t write much of anything; in one way of looking at it, he was a hollow person without a lot to say. (Honestly I think Elvis’s influence on David was less musical than in the a realm of presentation. Ziggy Stardust is really just Elvis the Pelvis turned up to 11.)
“New Angels” also references Other Bowies; it’s a direct descendent of “Sons of the Silent Age.”
This reminds me that Patti Smith called “Heroes” “a cryptic product of a high order of intelligence.” I’ve always wished someone would say that about something of mine.
It is perhaps obvious by now that I don’t really have any strong opinions about “New Angels of Promise.” I don’t love it or hate it; it’s another hours… song that sounds good on its own but tends to get lost in the context of the album. Let’s not belabor the topic any further.
There are two songs left on hours…, but since one is the short instrumental “Brilliant Adventure,” I’m going to write one more post, then we’ll move on to whatever’s next. Have a great weekend of relaxation, recreation, and remembrance, it whatever order and whatever ratio suits you.