David Bowie, Blackstar, 2016
Of course the news about the unexpected death of David Bowie overshadowed the news of this release. So I figured I would take some time to digest it well and try to be as neutral as possible about it. At the time of the first few spins in my player, I was already very impressed with this release. I really thought Bowie was again pushing boundaries and boldly delivered a masterpiece that touched upon many genres, while still being instantly Bowie.
And to be honest, that is still how I feel about it. Even when in hindsight some of the lyrics become spooky and foretelling, for me this is easily one of the best he has ever done. Just listen to the album opener and title track. Almost 10 minutes of haunting lyrics, vibrant playing and unusual song structures. It just never tires! Tis A Pity She Was A Whore vaguely reminds of his eighties hey days. Albeit with added sax playing, which is keeping it in the overall feel of this album. Of course with Lazarus it is impossible to not look back: “look up here, I’m in Heaven”. But even without this, I love this song. It is heartfelt, again has a vibrant and unique arrangement, and if anything, deserves to become his biggest hit ever.
There are 4 more songs on the album. And even when a total time of about 42 minutes is not very long in today’s standards, I love every minute of it.
Many want to go out with a bang, and Bowie just did it. He will be missed, but never forgotten.