The Next Day: David Bowie

Album Review: 'The Next Day'

David Bowie

By: Song River

It seems as humans we are only comfortable placing one another into nice tidy little compartments and filing them neatly with tag lines like: “final”- “the end”- “crowning accumulation”- or even “closing opus.” Blatantly pompous isn't it? To take a formidable metaphorically morphing being and wrap them in our genre of chrysalisistic narcissism. Yet, each person who has followed the transformations of David Bowie for over forty years knows that the release of The Next Day and its 14 reflected, present and projected penned lines of tasty hints is this spanning stars measure of nothing less than... David Bowie’s 'Magnum Opus'.

Bowie brings back with him long time producer, Tony Visconti (extending back to Space Oddity) and the generative partnership by any lack of the imagination extends beyond deliverance. Not withering into carte blanche security, Bowie shows that he has never left the heart of who he was, a virtuoso of ambiguity and a ultra uberstar of coolness Bowie is cool personified. He is the master trend setter, capable of mixing the arts, with fashion, film, literature, and pen. A shape-shifting maestro.

The title track The Next Day gives a vocal impression of an infuriated baritone voice shouting... “Here I am/ not quite dying” wondering if he is speaking in form to squash those who wanted him to deliver his final eulogy after his heart attack in 2004 or perhaps, it is a poke in the industry's eye. “First they give you everything you want/then they take back everything that you have.” How often the media hounds elate then obliterate. It is without doubt a nasty habit of theirs.