Ok, so we didn’t see this coming. First, David Bowie emerged from a near ten year hiatus to offer us a gift (on his birthday) in the form of a brand new song “Where Are We Now.” It was followed with the announcement of a completed full new album, The Next Day on Columbia Records. And now that that new album is finally a reality to our ears, all most can say is … “wow.” The Next Day does more than serve as fulfillment for a long absence, it finds this musical icon in a state of creative bliss and incredible ambition.
Truth be told “Where Are We Now,” while a gorgeous song, doesn’t really speak to the energy that The Next Day offers. The album storms out of the gate with the title-track. It’s thrilling to hear the cutting guitars on tracks like this, the next single “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” and “Valentine’s Day.” There’s brilliance in the frantic, almost chaotic “If You Can See Me.” And there’s delicious grooves on songs like the funky “Dirty Boys” which sees longtime Bowie collaborator Steve Elson on saxophone. He adds almost a Morphine like vibe to “Dirty Boys” dominating the tune.
And speaking of collaborators, Bowie fans won’t be surprised but should be excited by the presence of producer and musician Tony Visconti who helped craft The Next Day with Bowie. The two pulled off what most would consider ‘the impossible’ these days: record an album and make sure no one finds out. The record is artsy, edgy, ambitious and rocking.
Purchase the album here.