Bowie Is Back, Bowie Is 66, Long Live Bowie

bowie-next-day

Every time an aging, revered hero of alternative culture re-emerges from the shadows, my stomach lurches out of impulse. This is not to say creativity dies out at a certain point, but it doesn’t bode well. I mean, did anyone hear those later New Order albums? It might not ruin a legacy, but it’s so much nicer to think of an artist having a “flawless catalog,” as silly as that feels to type out. This is all a roundabout way of bringing me to David Bowie.

Ziggy Stardust is 66 today. He’d become something of a figurehead rather than an artist at this point, granting the occasional interview and popping up at Arcade Fire shows on a whim while recovering from heart surgery and a handful of rumored illnesses. At this point, it seemed smart, to retire from proper music and bask in his legacy. After all, his ’90s and early ’00s output was spotty at best.

This is why I felt a sense of dread seeing headlines that David Bowie is due to release The Next Day, his first album in 10 years. “NO NO NO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD” my instincts screamed, only growing louder seeing the album cover above. The long and short of it, though, is that I was wrong: the single “Where Are We Now?” is stunningly good. Rather than focus on relevancy, Bowie pulls from experience, creating a heartbreaking ballad that shares DNA with his ’70s records. For all I know, the album itself could be awful, but it’s nice to be proven wrong from time to time.

The Next Day is out March 12th in the US.

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