VH1 Storytellers

VH1 Storytellers
Composer: David Bowie
Conductor: David Bowie
Label: Virgin
Release Date: 2009-07-29
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

Bowie introduces the show, “I wish I had more time. Oh, the things I could tell you. … You don’t know the half of it!” It’s fair warning, but Storytellers feels light and less than fully satisfying after consumption. The low-key nature of the show yields some powerful performances of cool Bowie oldies like “Can’t Help Thinking About Me” and “Drive-In Saturday,” but Bowie used the Storytellers appearance to promote his then-current album Hours, the weakest of his 1990s albums. Although the Hours songs here aren’t completely awful, their relative weakness and disproportionate representation bogs things down. Sure, the anecdotes about Marc Bolan, Mott the Hoople, and Iggy Pop are fun, and Bowie gets vulnerable introducing “Word on a Wing,” but his depth and profundity, along with Storytellers’ narrative premise, set up expectations for something richer and deeper than the material spread across these two discs.