Bowie, David : Heathen

The old dear returns to form

Finally binning the zeitgeist-mounting personas that have both defined and haunted his career, Bowie's 25th studio album sees our original friend electric embark upon a largely unaffected anniversary waltz through the velvet-lined vaults of his past. And it's great. All of it. Even the bits where the grand old duchess of dilettantism succumbs to nursery-rhyme whimsy (the 'Space Oddity'-ish 'Slip Away') and (especially) the bits where spooky synths drop by for a chinwag (the 'Low'-flavoured 'Sunday'). Why? Because even at his most self-referential, Bowie is still a zillion times more inventive, brave and rocket-to-Mars brilliant than anyone who's been prodded by the ubiquitous genius stick, like, ever. 55 and not out, Bowie remains rock's most worship-worthy oddity.

Sarah Dempster
8 / 10

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