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David Bowie’s latest is a testament to his iconic status as a musical and artistic chameleon. The Next Day ranks as one of the most surprising and rewarding efforts produced this year. This album deals with the decline of a man who once commanded attention and notoriety who now finds himself facing obscurity — and mortality.

Highlights abound as Bowie enlists long-time collaborators such as producer Tony Visconti and guitarist Earl Slick to lend muscle and focus to this glamorous musical message.

The title track jumps out of the speakers with straight-ahead rock and roll, the lyric “Here I am – not quite dying...” hovering over a roiling beat. On the song “I’d Rather Be High,” Bowie addresses the desires of a teenager serving his country in the Middle East. He cries, “I’d rather be high/ I’d rather be flying/ I’d rather be dead or out of my head/ than training these guns on those men in the sand...” The lyrics are heavy while the rhythm sweetly bounces along. This is essential Bowie, with plenty of rich, textured guitar, sax, and powerful, soulful vocals. Repeat listens to the collection continue to reward the listener with the joy of discovering a new Bowie classic.

  • Album: The Next Day
  • Artist: David Bowie
  • Label: ISO Records
  • Songs: (1) The Next Day (2) Dirty Boys (3) The Stars (Are Out Tonight) (4) Love Is Lost (5) Where Are We Now? (6) Valentines Day (7) If You Can See Me (8) I'd Rather Be High (9) Boss of Me (10) Dancing Out in Space (11) How Does The Grass Grow? (12) (You Will) Set the World on Fire (13) You Feel So Lonely You Could Die (14) Heat (15) So She (16) Plan (17) I'll Take You There
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