The first album in ten years from the grand dame of British rock is every bit as formidable as the canon it draws upon.
The Next Day
Rating: * * * * *
At 66, he looks amazingly well and sounds even better: The Stars (Are Out Tonight) recalls but does not revisit Major Tom, while Love Is Lost is dark science-fiction built on a twisted bass line. “Your maid is new, your accent too,” drawls Dave dismissively, with considerable acidity.
Where Are We Now? sounds like it evolved from the “little fat man” song from his appearance in Ricky Gervais’s Extras.
But these songs are rooted in his 1980s period and the production textures of Lodger and Scary Monsters – there is more parping saxophone than on anything he has done since Pin Ups.
But guitars continue to shape the record: I’d Rather Be High soars on a Ronson-esque riff and Bowie appears to be embracing his past with more enthusiasm than of late.
How Does The Grass Grow? contorts the norm with gusto as he continues to probe and challenge with customary wickedness. If only his contemporaries had a small measure of this vim and vigour. Bowie is a colossal influence who is needed more than ever.
Download this: I’d Rather Be High, Dancing Out In Space