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Aiming for comeback of the year before he was usurped by My Bloody Valentine, David Bowie delivers his first album in what...like...a million years and you have to hand it to him, the silence has paid dividends. Had he been releasing albums and touring over the past 10 years no-one would really care about this latest effort. Instead it’s being seen in some quarters like the second coming of christ.
It’s been hard to find a Bowie aficianado amongst our ranks, they are a different breed it seems. By the sounds of this album, Brett Anderson will be sat at home taking notes as I write as what we have here is an album of comically overblown preposter-rock. The opening title track sits somewhere between Menswear and a reggae inflected Psychedelic Furs and breezes past without leaving much impression. ‘Dirty Boys’ (gotta love these Suede-like titles), is staccato with sax squawks and a chorus from the B side of some ‘Dog Man Star’-era Suede (who of course were highly “influenced” by him).
Better is ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’ which is a kind of decent mid-paced rocker with some atmospheric guitar twiddles. If you are putting forward a case for Bowie still having “it” it comes in ‘Valentines Day’ which sounds like a slew of his best ‘70s moments all rolled into one. It was a very clever marketing campaign to use the haunting ‘Where Are We Now?’ as the lead track; its sombre textures suggest a maturing, understated artist, something completely odds to the insane wibbling of much of the remainder of the album. On ‘If you can see me’ he sounds rather like The Associates (who of course ripped him off completely), ‘I’d Rather be High’ recalls the theme tune from The Mighty Boosh (who of course ripped him off).
At times you start to wonder whether it is all an elaborate hoax (take the sleeve for starters, and can you believe there is a song called ‘Dancing in Outer Space’?), it’s lyrically clunky throughout but you get the impression that there is enough to keep Bowie fans happy forever. It’s generally an attempt to recreate past glories rather than push out in new directions or create a melancholic late period masterpiece. At times it’s laugh-out-loud funny but Bowie has always been a bit absurd and its good to see that age has not withered that.
9/10 Colin Allen 28th October 2016
What can I say about The Next Day, and it was, as you said the second coming of Christ. Never been so excited at the prospect of a new Bowie album. The only other artist is Marc Bolan, I find those two are the best pair of U.K. Superstars for that period. I really don't think Bowie's Next Day is over rated. Dancing Out In Space is very Jagger-ish. The very difference of Blackstar is quite amazing. Bowie's first Jazz album. It's such a pity he died on the Sunday. Tragic loss. The bloke was, let's face it genius.you mentioned a couple of artists who are heavily influenced by the man. That will be the way here on in. The unreleased stuff will be wonderful, if it's on a stand alone album. But I understand Bowie visited a guy to discuss the likelihood of an advanced against future royalties. All this before he died. What a man!!
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