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davidbowie thenextday
Artist: David Bowie
Title: The Next Day
Genre: Rock / Pop
Release Date: 8th march 2013
Label: Sony Music


Album Review

So, the man, the legend returns after a long hiatus (10 years that is) with a record that had surprised the world over. Released in conjunction with his 66th birthday, Bowie recorded this album in secrecy and since the release he hasn’t allowed interviews of any kind nor will there be any tours as such. Many had assumed that Bowie had retired since his health issue during his ‘Reality’ tour back in 2003. His silence was loud and now louder still, is his unpredictable return…

‘The Next Day’ is a dark record and at times increasingly sombre. It’s not really what Bowie fans have expected but alas, this is Bowie, when have we predicted his next move? This album contains more autobiographical elements than his other work, which is seldom used in his material, ‘The Next Day’ reflects on his earlier days back in Berlin (most notably his single, ‘Where Are We Now?’) when he kicked back with the likes of Iggy Pop and recorded remarkable songs such as ‘Heroes’, being one of many; even the sparse cover to this album symbolically notes this sentiment. The use of the cover to ‘Heroes’ is obscured by a large white square with the bold title, ‘The Next Day’ - this ubiquitous design has uniformed the album as a statement and in a way, this is what it is.

Despite the exploration of his past in the music industry etc., he also dissects the celebrity culture for what it is, in ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’ and his views on the war in Afghanistan are expressed in the song ‘I’d Rather Be High’. Death and love are also vast topics in this album, it’s not an easy listen, however, Bowie makes it palatable with his palette of sounds including the likes of blues, gospel and jazz-rock influences including a dose of drum ‘n bass – that is noticeable in ‘If You Can See Me’. The sorrow laden ‘You Feel So Lonely You Could Die’ unnervingly provokes with lyrics expressing suicide but the Leonard Cohen inspired gospel chorus gives it energy. The melodic melancholy of ‘Where Are We Now?’ really infuses a sense of despair with Bowie’s yearning vocals and moving piano loops and the cool yet strange sax based tune, ‘Dirty Boys’ adds some interesting diversity into the mix.

This isn’t an upbeat Bowie album although; it is utterly profound, emotive and compelling. The masterful production from his long-time producer/collaborator, Tony Visconti encapsulates the greatness who also recorded the ‘Heroes’ album in Berlin, back in 1977. It’s obvious that ‘The Next Day’ is Bowie’s ambiguous nod to a new generation of rock whereas the past is partially visible (hence, the ‘Heroes’ album cover that can still be seen), personally, ‘The Next Day’ is not just an album but a sublime work of art created by an artistic mastermind that never fails to grasp a massive audience. Today, rock is almost a pastiche, lacking ideas and recycling 2-dimensional efforts, Bowie returns 10 years later at the age of 66 and shows them all how to do it right.


Tracklist

01. The Next Day
02. Dirty Boys
03. The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
04. Love Lost
05. Where Are We Now?
06. Valentines Day
07. If You Can See Me
08. I’d Rather Be High
09. Boss of Me
10. Dancing Out In Space
11. How Does The Grass Grow?
12. (You Will) Set The World On Fire
13. You Feel So Lonely You Could Die
14. Heat
15. So She (Bonus Track)
16. Plan (Bonus Track)
17. I’ll Take You There (Bonus Track)


Line-up

David Bowie – Vocals, Guitar, Piano


Websites

www.davidbowie.com


Cover Picture

davidbowie thenextday


Rating

Music: 9.5
Sound: 9
Total: 9.5 / 10





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