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The Next Day [VINYL] Deluxe Edition
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27th studio album by the legendary English musician, and the first to feature new material in ten years. Following the unexpected release of the single 'Where Are We Now?' on Bowie's 66th birthday, the album features 14 brand new tracks. The cover art for the album is an adapted version of Bowie's 1977 album 'Heroes'. This deluxe edition features three bonus tracks.
Even after 10 years away from the spotlight, David Bowie – pop’s most important post-Beatles innovator – still commands unrivalled levels of fascination.
Just when it seemed that he had quietly slipped into a dignified retirement, which no-one would have begrudged, the world awoke one morning in January to the remarkable news of not only a single, Where Are We Now?, available immediately, but also this album.
In the context of the album, Where Are We Now? – a moving, backwards glance at The Berlin Years – seems a slight red herring. Bowie does consider the past, ageing, mortality: on the title track’s chant of “My body left to rot in a hollow tree” and I’d Rather Be High’s stumbling “to the graveyard”.
How Does the Grass Grow? poses the question, “Would you still love me if the clocks could go backwards?” (You Will) Set the World on Fire seemingly addresses his pre-stardom self, a You Really Got Me riff and slick confidence reminding us that he’s always had “what it takes”. This elegiac nostalgia is matched by the beautiful You Feel So Lonely You Could Die.
A complex mood pervades elsewhere, a sense of things gone awry. The nicely sinister Dirty Boys’ expressive, serious vocal depicts a skewed Englishness of cricket bats, “Finchley Fair” and running “with dirty boys”. The Stars (Are Out Tonight) sees those stars (a recurring theme) anthropomorphised: “sexless and unaroused”, unsettlingly “beaming like blackened sunshine”.
The most experimental cut, If You Can See Me, proclaims – amidst spacey, tumbling rhythms and scattered jumbles of notes and words – “I will slaughter your kind”. Love Is Lost makes youth seem ominous – newness abounds but still “your fear is old”. Clearly this is no elder statesman simply wistfully gazing into a dappled, romanticised past.
Valentine’s Day and I’d Rather Be High are further standouts – the former is a mid-paced depiction of a character with a “tiny face” and “scrawny hands”; the latter, a furious anti-war song.
Closer Heat is a brilliant exemplar of what makes our finest, bravest musician of the past 40 years so irreplaceable. It’s full of spaced-out vocals, ominous noises and bangs, keening strings and disturbing, impressionistic poetry.
With the opacity and lack of easy answers that you would hope for from this most stylish and creative of artists, this is a triumphant, almost defiant, return. Innovative, dark, bold and creative, it’s an album only David Bowie could make.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now to the songs themselves. There are some really memorable moments throughout the album such as 'Where Are We Now?' 'Valentine's Day' and the haunting closer 'Heat'. The songs on here are mainly mid-tempo rock songs with the odd few breaking this rule. I've read some reviews that the album is badly mixed with his voice being swamped beneath the music. I would only apply this to a couple of songs where his voice isn't the focal point but unless you're an audiophile it's not going to be so blatant that it will affect your listen. The lyrics are classic Bowie with him observing and critiquing the world we live in. Some of the songs towards the end get a little lost on the first couple of listens but become more familiar later. That is what I'd say of the album - it will grow on you rather than entice you immediately.Read more ›
It's interesting to see that he still has musical vision and the willingness to explore new territory. Most artists of his age are sitting firmly on their laurels and trying to repeat old glories. Bowie shows that he still has ideas, and the creative genius has been resting not dead.
And unlike some of his latter releases, this is an album that grabs the attention and holds it all the way through. No weak tracks here, it's an album with a lot to say and it says it in a captivating manner. Not a moment is wasted. Not only that, but for the first time in ages we have an album release in which someone has taken real trouble over the album art, seeing it almost as important as the music contained therein. This doesn't happen often enough in the mainstream these days and is a real show. I pine for the days when performers such as Bowie regarded the whole enterprise - the music, the album art, even the way they dressed as a coherent whole expression of their vision.
It's a classic album from Bowie, here's hoping that there is more to come.
My version is the Deluxe version, which has 3 bonus tracks. I must say that it was worth getting this version for the final track, I'll Take You There.
So I've fallen for the hype, how am I feeling now that I've listened to the thing a few times?
Well, not conned, that's for sure. It's not particularly strong on melody - though melodically it certainly sounds like a Bowie record and it's far from tuneless. But it's very strong on both arrangements and lyrics - the latter in my experience being the first faculty ageing rock stars tend to lose. Even the less interesting songs, and there are two or three that let the side down a bit, make an interesting noise. And there's a pretty wide variety of styles, though there's little here that wouldn't have fitted in pretty well on Lodger, for instance, though parts of it are a lot rockier than most of that album.
I can't think of another rock artist who's come up with work of this quality at such an advanced age - by any standards this is a very good album - the songs are interesting, powerful, some of the lyrics are quite disturbing, nearly all of them are thought-provoking at least; the playing and arrangements are superb, Bowie's vocals are in good shape.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
... and the next day... and the next day... and the next day... and the next day... still listening to itPublished 3 days ago by james waite
Got the cds now the vinyl great return after a long time away rip starmamPublished 9 days ago by k hough