On the 8th of January 2013, David Bowie turn’t 66. As if that wasn’t a big deal in the first place, he surprised us all with a brand new single named ‘Where Are We Now?’. The single went in the top 10 in 10 countries where it peaked highest in the UK at #6, his first top 10 hit since ‘Jump They Say’ in 1993.
For me, writing this article is a little strange considering I never thought I’d be able to discuss a brand new Bowie album since this album is his first in 10 years and I was a little too young to remember and take in that era for the record before. Bowie, who had supposedly ‘retired’ recorded the album during a two year period with producer Visconti. All was kept a secret. A good damn secret.
As of 18/03/13, a week after the album release in the UK, the album has charted the album has debuted at #1 in 9 countries including the UK with impressive sales of 94,048 being his first #1 album in 20 years since ‘Black Tie White Noise’ and so far the fast selling album to get to #1 this year so far. Only three solo acts have had more number one albums than Bowie – Madonna (11, or 12 if you count the Evita soundtrack), Elvis Presley (11) and Robbie Williams (10). Apart from Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson have also had nine number one albums.
Overall, the album is receiving many positive reviews from both the critics and fans. A lot of fans have said this is his best work since his 1980 album ‘Scary Monsters’ which has been said many times in the past, was his last best album.
Track by track review and ratings of the deluxe edition:
- The Next Day – Fantastic album opener. Powerful and that instant classic Bowie feel. 9/10
- Dirty Boys – Something a little unexpected. The dialogue between the saxophone and guitar in the song makes it special. 7/10
- The Stars (Are Out Tonight) – Classic Bowie for sure. Lots of energy in this and an amazing music video which makes you say ‘Bowie is back!’ – 9/10
- Love Is Lost – Instant love with an excellent sound. Great beat and was rumoured to be the original album title. – 9/10
- Where Are We Now? – After 4 upbeat songs, Bowie chills it out with the lead single. 7/10.
- Valentines Day – Great guitar riff, catchy and could easily be a hit single. 8/10
- If You Can See Me – Could be from either the Outside or Earthling albums. Upbeat, killer beat and interesting noise at the end. Cows maybe? 8/10
- I’d Rather Be High – The chorus will be stuck in your head by its clever yet catchy lyrics. 7/10
- Boss Of Me – Catchy but doesn’t really go anywhere for me. 5/10
- Dancing Out In Space – Intro gives you Modern Love vibes, and gives you 70’s and 80’s Bowie mixed together. 8/10
- How Does The Grass Grow? – Amazing use of drums, insanely catchy and is for sure one of many highlights of the album. 9/10
- (You Will) Set The World On Fire – 80’s Bowie vibe from this one. 7/10
- You Feel So Lonely You Could Die – A softer side to Bowie which you don’t really see on this record. 7/10
- Heat – Many describe this as an ‘Outtake from Outside’. Another slow number. A good way to end the standard edition of the album. 6/10
- So She – Such a pretty song. It is so much more than a deluxe edition track. 8/10
- Plan – Instrumental track which is very Low-esque. Such a great track that I wish was longer. 8/10
- I’ll Take You There – So catchy and very single worthy. Another song that is so much more than a deluxe edition track. 8/10
Overall album rating: 8/10
This is for sure the the comeback I wanted. He is one of the few artists who have been around for decades who can still manage to release new music and keep at a high standard. Job well done!
As for promo and live performances, there has been none – which is rather impressive. My dream would be able to attend a Bowie tour. Unfortunately it seems near to impossible that he will do any live shows though Visconti, the producer of this album said there is a 50/50 chance. Here’s me wishing there is a possibility!