With 1975's Young Americans, David Bowie chose to head in yet another "new direction," this time extrapolating on the slick disco-soul vibe that characterized 1974's David Live. Surrounded by an army of backup singers (including Luther Vandross) and smooth session players, Bowie actually makes the stylistic affectation work on three of the songs--"Fame," "Young Americans," and "Can You Hear Me." The rest of the record suffers from a dearth of quality songwriting; all the tasty licks in the world can't disguise the fact that "Fascination," "Win," "Somebody Up There Likes Me," and "Right" are basically empty-headed disco vamps. (And the less said about the overwrought cover of the Beatles' "Across the Universe," the better.) A necessary transitional step to Station to Station, perhaps, but not a great record.