This album is five kinds of awesome. It's largely in the style of Let's Dance, which is one of my favorite Bowie albums, but is considerably more surreal and upbeat. The Wikipedia article says that the main external influence on the album was his marriage to Iman ("The Wedding Song") although the suicide of his brother ("Jump They Say") and the death of guitarist Mick Ronson probably had some impact on the music as well. Aside from the vocals and lyrics, one of the things I like best about Black Tie White Noise is Bowie's sax playing, which has a very Arabic feel to it. I think I'm going to be listening to this a lot.