David Bowie – Blackstar
Avant-garde | Jazz Fusion
When David Bowie released The Next Day in 2013 it was hailed as a revelation. With hindsight though it was a substandard release that was viewed through rose tinted glasses as fans were eager for new music. Blackstar is nothing of the sort. Whilst The Next Day was like a final splutter before the end, Blackstar is a complete rebirth. Bowie rises out of the ashes like an eccentric phoenix with his most ambitious album yet. The blend of jazz and electronica is out of the ordinary, but definitely works.
Sadly not everything does; ‘Girl Loves Me’ is quite frankly awful. The nonsense lyrics and lack of melody makes it sound like a bunch of those irritating Minion characters at Karaoke. Beyond that the rest of the album is a winner. Whilst it’s full of experimentation such as the eastern influences on the title track and the skittering beat on the reworked ‘Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)’, it still manages to be accessable and inviting. The closing track ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’ is full of warm sax, Bowie’s uplifting vocals and the album’s only guitar solo. The high point however is definitely ‘Lazarus’, the title track of Bowie’s musical, which is surely one of his most mystifying and dramatic songs. Blackstar has it’s flaws, but whilst most rock icons his age are failing, David Bowie has released what is quite likely his best album since the 70s.
Edit: With David Bowie sadly passing away shortly after it’s release, Blackstar seems to be a fitting swansong. He will be sorely missed.