CD Reviews > David Bowie

David Bowie - The Next Day

Can the “rock ‘n roll chameleon” change his colors yet again?

It’s no surprise I have been a pretty big Bowie fan since my first “real” rock concert experience of the Glass Spider tour, so when the media got hold of his first video from the soon to be released The Next Day, I watched it a few times and studied it like a chubby kid with cake. It was definitely an homage to his glory days of working in Berlin with Brian Eno, where many great hits (including Heroes) was composed. Of course, Berlin is also where he almost died, as documented in tracks on the Low album like “Always Crashing in the Same Car”. Now, in many ways, the tone and composition on this offering is not a drastic departure from the overall sound in Bowie's body of work. It does, however, stray from his latest experimental concept albums like Outside, and Earthling.

While you won't find anything as controversial as “I'm Afraid of Americans” here, The Next Day is a solid “flow” type of a release. While there are singles on youtube for some of the tracks, this is a “whole enchilada” event that really must be experienced in its entirety. “Where Are They Now” feels bluesy and pensive, while the title track is all “Bowie” -- playful and confident. I’m partial to “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” with its great stream of consciousness and Bowie with his signature guitar moves.

If you were hoping David was going to keep collaborating with darker sounds (for example, Trent Reznor), you may wish to skip this one. But, if you just want to hear masterful composition by one of the originators of so much deviant rock ‘n roll, then this is one not to miss! Oh, and don’t take the disc out until it tracks to the bonus songs. There are no sub-par tracks, Bowie truly works every song. Such craftmanship in the mainstream music industry is rare, and I feel honored to review this gem.

~Alexavier S. Strangerz