Pop genius David Bowie has died at the age of 69, mere days after the release of his 25th album, ‘Blackstar’. In our 4/5 review, we described it as a collection of “warped showtunes, skronking industrial rock, soulful balladeering, airy folk-pop, even hip-hop”. If the ‘The Next Day’, his 2013 comeback album that drew on his own ’70s art-rock period, was a refresher course on his achievements, ‘Blackstar’ sees Bowie striving towards the future, reminding us that nostalgia was never really his bag.
It’s an eerie, otherworld record, preoccupied with death and darkness, full of willfully strange musical arrangements that draw on jazz as much as art-rock (apparently Bowie and producer Tony Visconti spent a lot of time listening to Kendrick Lamar’s jazz-influenced ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’). ‘Blackstar’, which you can listen to below, now sounds like a melancholy, defiantly dignified goodbye from an artist who was still innovating right to end.
Watch fans talk about what David Bowie meant to them, shot at the Bowie mural in his hometown of Brixton.