Former glam rocker David Bowie’s newest album could potentially be one of the best comebacks in musical history. In an era where popular opinion states every interesting musical icon has retired from the scene, Bowie delivers with “The Next Day.” The 14-track album revives the most influential sounds of “Space Oddity” and “Ziggy Stardust” and demonstrates that Bowie is still a major influence in shaping today’s pop music.
Working with long-time producer Tony Visconti, Bowie sticks to his static sound and electric vocals on “The Next Day.” Although this icon has ditched the extravagant outfits, makeup and androgynous aesthetic, the songs are still recognizably Bowie.
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” the second single on the album, is complemented by a music video reminiscent of the visuals for his classic track, “Heroes.” The eerie, short film-esque video stars Tilda Swinton as Bowie’s husband. The video’s artistry displays a sleek modernity to it as it satirizes the life of superstars and media, and its effect on our everyday lives. Swinton and Bowie’s androgyny mesh together quite well on screen, and the song is one of the standout tracks on the album, perhaps even one of Bowie’s best.
Tracks like “The Next Day” and “Valentine’s Day” sound as if they stepped out of the ’80s, and “Dirty Boys” features an interesting horn line reminiscent of The Clash. Bowie also attempts to incorporate a more experimental pop sound on “If You Can See Me.”
Despite an underwhelming music video for the first single “Where Are We Now?” Bowie’s album proves to be an outstanding product from one of history’s most innovative musicians. Fortunately, the stars will always be aligned for this cultural icon and his artistic endeavors.
A version of this article was published Wednesday, March 13 print edition. Breezy Smoak is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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