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David Bowie - The Next Day
on 22 August 2013
I bought this album out of a sort of perverse form of loyalty and curiosity - I was a great fan of Bowie in the late 60's and early 70's but then became less interested during the "Trilogy" period and only occasionally thereafter - it happens.
This is a David Bowie who has survived a heart attack, passed into his sixties, survived and wants people to know it. In a way, this is full circle - not musically but in sentiment. It feels very much as if Bowie is saying just that; "I'm here, I've survived and I'm still going to do things my way". Unfortunately, it also feels to me as if he's saying that "...and this is it". I played the album several times in the first few days (as is my normal procedure if I don't immediately click with a CD), then at least twice a week for the next month and did get to enjoy the majority of the CD but, and it's a big but, I cannot say that this would make it into my top 100 listening list.
For those who expect a Ziggy, White Duke or other incarnation, you'll be sadly disappointed. For those wanting the upbeat numbers that peppered his earlier work - it was the single, released just before the album was (or, at least, the track that was played ad nauseam prior to it's release) - there's a distinct sombreness to the album, as befits his age, experience and brush with mortality. This all makes this album a bit of a challenge - something which, I suspect, Mr Bowie fully intended.