Music / Reviews

Review: The Next Day by David Bowie

Yeah, that’s the album art. I personally love it, but let me know what you think in the comments section.

This seems to be a year for artists from bygone decades to hit you in the throat with new albums that are a lot better than they have any right to be. David Bowie goes back even further than Nick Cave and My Bloody Valentine, but he packs the same punch, as the title track starts off with a bang.

The Thin White Duke released “Where Are We Now?”, The Next Day‘s lead single, on his 66th birthday. Out of nowhere. I almost wrote a review of the song, because it was such a big deal of a single, but I wasn’t really sure what to say about it. I didn’t like it much, and I thought it may be a grower, as others were saying. I think it’s one of the weaker tracks on the album, and it hasn’t grown on me much at all. “Boss of Me” (below), with its fantastic basswork, is probably my current favorite.

But the album as a whole is a lot of fun. Bowie jumps in and out of the different periods of his career (which were always distinguishable, but decidedly Bowie at the same time) throughout the album. Maybe it works because you’re familiar with these different personas, because they might otherwise be jarring. But the shifts from upbeat to downtempo, from happy to downtrodden, seem to happen from one song to another. But they’re all solid, and densely layered. It feels as if Bowie is providing The Next Day as a sort of modern update on his back catalogue. It just has to be heard as a whole to be understood, and the individual tracks I’m providing don’t really do it justice.

This album probably would’ve warranted a listen no matter what. Fortunately, it’s good. See for yourself.

The Next Day Rating:

3.5 Stars