Review #151: David Bowie – Blackstar

Artist – David Bowie
Album – Blackstar (2016)

blackstar_cd_1000sq

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/2w1YJXWMIco6EBf0CovvVN

David Bowie is a singer-songwriter from London, UK. Bowie has managed to stay a popular and relevant artists for 4 decades now, regularly changing up his sound from the early glam-rock days of Ziggy Stardust to the electronic sounds of his collab with Brian Eno. Due to his long career and massive success David Bowie has gained 9 platinum albums, 11 gold and eight silver, hit the 29 spot on the BBC’s ‘100 Greatest Britons’ and in 1996 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now with an impressive 27 albums under his belt David Bowie is ready to release his newest record ‘Blackstar’.

*Sadly the day of posting this review David Bowie lost his battle with cancer. He was a true pioneer, pushing the boundaries of music & fashion, inspiring generation after generation. RIP.

‘Blackstar’ starts with its title track, a song which moulds electronic music with elements of jazz and art, incorporating the classic Bowie vocal sound, but with a sense of overall melancholy. The second song ‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore’ comes in a little quicker with a strong pulsating drum beat. Towards the end of this track a quick drum roll leads into a gorgeous mash of saxophone madness, numerous solos clashing with each other harmonically, but still sounding incredible, in a chaotic way. ‘Blackstar’ includes just 7 songs, but ranging from 4-9 minutes, allowing David Bowie to expand of each piece and create fully recognised ‘stories’, rather than a bunch of short incomplete ideas. The composition and instrumentation of this whole album is extravagant, Bowie mixing the typical band instrumentation with brass, electronics, strings, percussion, to creating this texturally diverse sound, having the listener unable to categories each song as we normally do. The end track ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’ now can be read in 101 different ways. This track repeats the same beat and progression throughout, every so often introducing a small saxophone melody, guitar solo or Bowie singing the main hook, maybe saying (as the title suggest) that Bowie doesn’t want to go all out, but leave the listener wanting more. Possibly with David Bowie’s recent passing and it being from a long battle with cancer  he knew that this may be his last album and last track, making the point that he ‘.. Can’t Give Everything Away’ and therefore left this album on a long, repetitive and open ended song, making the album far more poignant if true.

David Bowie is undoubtedly one of the most influential musicians to come from the UK … just one of the most influential musician in general actually. It is incredible that he has managed to create this album with the illness that he has had, even more incredible that it is a fantastic album and a fitting end to Bowie’s career.

9/10

 

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