Now the celebrations are over, I thought it would be a good time to talk about my most-anticipated record of 2016, David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar.’
Three years ago Bowie surprised the world with a new album, his first in 10 years. ‘The Next Day’ was a brilliant comeback and had enough melodic tunes and leftfield moments to satisfy all Bowie fans.
David Bowie likes to be different. A flick through his back catalogue shows he never does the same thing twice and is usually a step or two ahead of any current trend. So in an age where celebrities Tweet every last detail of mundane life from what they are eating for a midnight snack to the colour of today’s socks, Bowie says nothing. For years he stayed completely out of the limelight and, amazingly, during his ‘comeback’ was nowhere to be seen.
As a fan, I felt lucky to have ‘The Next Day’ to enjoy as I’d resigned myself to the fact David Bowie had retired. There were rumours on the Internet of ill health so the album was such an amazing present to fans. And in this day and age the whole thing appeared without any leaks ruining the surprise. But was that it? A final swansong? No, because this month we have a brand new album in the form of ‘Blackstar.’ I did say he never does the same thing twice so after the last album of melodic rock songs this new one could not be more different. The lead single is the title track. If you have not heard it, then I’m struggling to find the words to describe it.
The track is 10 minutes long and is like two separate songs combined with an experimental jazz feel to it.
The second single ‘Lazarus’ is a haunting jazz ballad that takes several listens to fully appreciate but if you do give it the time it deserves it reaps rewards.
‘Blackstar’ consists of only seven tracks produced by Bowie’s long-term contributor Tony Visconti. One critic has described the album “As far from pop as Bowie has ever been.”
You are not going to hear these songs on the radio, but as a David Bowie fan I find it fascinating to hear what he is up to these days.