Album Review//David Bowie - The Next Day

As returns go David Bowie's return after a decade is one that is surely long overdue. And when he sneak released Where Are We Now? in January it was a key moment in the music world that had many eyes looking his way. The album The Next Day is out now and after much deliberation we reveal our verdict...

If Bowie's last album ended on a quiet note then The Next Day opens with a bang. The title track hits the spot in just the right place with chorus shouting 'Here I am...!' for all to hear - and with a global chart topper on his hands we're very sure he's here. The man who once sold the world is back and the world is watching! There is much to enjoy about the album, from the cover art that reinvents the idea of cover art, taking the legendary cover of Heroes and scribbling artfully over it to great effect to the songs that point to many areas of the back catalogue but never in a bad way. 

There's a bit of that legendary sax on The Dirty Boys, the art rock styling of The Stars (Are Out Tonight) impresses and there's much more than that too. It's an album that doesn't live on past glories (despite the fact there are many in the case of Bowie) and is almost timeless in it's listening experience. The prosaic Where Are We Now?  cruises along the streets of Berlin with one eye firmly on the nostalgia and the other on the future whilst Valentines Day takes a golden hued "stumble through the mall" with the timeless production from Tony Visconti impressing especially on this track.

Our highlights though are the tracks where we see the playful Bowie come out and shake that famously tousled hair for all to see. If You Can See Me is one such moment, with the chorus recalling the revisionist albums of the early 2000's and audibly channeling the greatness we've come to expect. Taking a listen to Dancing Out In Space recalls the oft under rated Earthling in some ways, but is not nearly as submerged in that partocular genre as some may suggest. Indeed, our best moment from the album is the minimal yet effective stomp of (You Will) Set The World On Fire where the album really hits home the return of it's creator perfectly. Indeed, as we deliberated over The Next Day it was steadily climbing it's way up charts over the world in what could only be called a victory for common sense in the music world.

By the time you reach closing track Heat you're fully immersed in the sonic world of Bowie and although this is not the perfect Bowie album - is there truly such a thing? - it's an excellent return for one of the music worlds legendary artists to doing what he does best. 

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. 

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