As the train begins to pick up steam on the first track “Station to Station,” Bowie is a patient master that lets tension build within the track before finally making a vocal appearance. His performance is necessary as this structured animal that creates behind as a conductor. Not just through his own orchestra of sound, but as a locomotive with momentum behind him. Each instrument collects along as one drawn-out working piece of a machine that finally adorns a metallic face.
As the riff of “Golden Years” becomes more human and less of an expressionist piece, Bowie recruits an assortment of musicians to build a foundation around Station To Station. Watching The Thin White Duke move with his own formation of vocals, tenor and alto saxophone, guitar, a Mellotron (electro-mechanical tape keyboard), and finally a Minimoog (analog synthesizer) to organize his own ensemble. Coming off the last record Young Americans which was a step into the funk direction for Bowie, “Golden Years” sculpts a somewhat disco sound as he runs the spotlight on himself. Almost as if he was a phantom of the performance, Bowie is a beast of ferocity that clashes with the backing vocals where his shrieks and mumbles are two sides of a very golden coin.
More of a fractured train ride than a blissful trip through the country, Station To Station is breathtaking but a timid record. Between Bowie’s frantic tone, the instrumental pieces that increase range, and the final moments of the Thin White Duke’s journey. Station To Station is one of the final stops at a dimly lit terminal, just before the break of daylight as it builds and creates this otherworldly arrangement of scenery.