CD Reviews > David Bowie

David Bowie - Blackstar
Columbia Records

I met David Bowie briefly in 1987 in Kansas City during the Glass Spider tour. I offered to help with a spotlight when the light guy hurt his ankle. David, himself, came side-stage, where he basically told me "thanks, but no thanks". I was only 15, but his classy decision to tell me himself really stuck with me - and the show was remarkable!

David Bowie has released his 25th and final album, BLACKSTAR, and it is my honor to review this album as my eulogy to him.

01. "Blackstar". "I'm not a gangster, I'm not a film star, I'm a blackstar". Solemn, secure, steady beat marching to a funeral pyre, Bowie hints at his acceptance of his demise, yet with such strength we do not see it coming.

02. "Tis a Pity She Was a Whore". Upbeat and whimsical, saxophones wail in place of guitar solos. You can almost feel New York City in the background.

03.Lazarus. A swan song, emulating strength and soulful in its reckoning. "Look up here, I'm in heaven, I've got scars that can't be seen". The video for this track is almost too haunting to watch. Bowie was wise enough to know he was ending, kept it mostly to himself, but in a way he was able to self-eulogize, "now ain't that just like me?"

04. Sue (In a Season of Crime). This track was released as an awesome video while the album was still being finished. John Zorn meets David Bowie? Certainly New York seemed to be influencing him well. A strong track, again intentionally misdirecting the finality of Blackstar as an album.

05. "Girl Loves Me" (Explicit). Yeah he drops the f-bomb here, but explicit? It is art, and art sometimes shocks. Bowie was an artist in performance, personal style, and (in my opinion) the best actor/pop star cross-over. Here, he actually laments over gaining the love of a girl.

06. "Dollar Days". Another mournful ballad laden with acoustic guitar chord progressions, grand piano arpeggios and saxophones. The artistry here is so complete it hurts. The last track of the CD is coming up, but I don't ever want to let go of this song... not yet, please.

07. "I Can't Give Everything Away". So reminiscent of tracks from Heathen, starting with a nod to the Gemini spaceship. "I can't give everything away", the final song on the final album from the man who proclaimed we could be heroes (and in turn was my hero for many a decade).

There are so many reasons to own this cd, and you can get it on Amazon for a little more than $9.00.

So, as the Starman hits new heights and shines forever, ever bright, I bid adieu to my hero true. I'm so glad I once got to meet you!

~Alexavier S. Strangerz