October 20, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

David Bowie Outside (http://www. davidbowie.com) Once upon a time, the Thin White Duke was ever ahead of the pitch. Then he spent a decade behind the eight ball. With this site, a companion to Outside, his new musical collaboration with Brian Eno, Bowie finds himself back in step with the times. That’s progress, I guess. An online expansion of the album’s dystopian story line, with prose and character profiles interlarded with a lot of musical sound clips, the site also has its share of trendy gore and pompous cyberpunk howlers: Bowie’s character is Detective Professor Nathan Adler, investigator of art crimes — and, whooee, is that pot looking black. But there are also lyrics, tour photos (one tour photo, the day I looked), a ton of audio clips, and some truly snazzy hypertext design. Overall verdict: Skip the album and surf the site instead. B+

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