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Bowie’s Next Day


It’s always difficult for a fan to wait for their favorite artist to release a new album. In the case of David Bowie, we have waited 10 years. David Bowie has struggled to amaze me since the Berlin years of “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger”. I winced at his top 40 years of “Let’s Dance”.

Although I did enjoy “Heathen” and parts of some of his other works, it’s been a while since I got excited about his music.

Enter “The Next Day”, the new album released today. The cover of a white box in front of the album cover “Heroes” gives you an indication of what we might be in for. then again, David has been known to surprise us.

Not this time.

After three consecutive listens, I have discovered that Bowie has not broken any new ground. It looks, feels and sounds exactly as advertised. The fourth album in the Berlin trilogy. I am not completely disappointed in this revelation, since I enjoyed that period. Glam-rock Bowie fans will be gravely disappointed. There is not even a shred of that era here. Only a tinge in a poppy song called “Valentine’s Day” shows David in glam style voice.

I have always considered Bowie his own genre of music. He was known for his ability to change like a chameleon from album to album.

Not this time.

He sticks to the genre he feels most comfortable in. Dark, guitar driven rock. Gone is the tongue in cheek, sexually charged, glitter rock God we saw in the 70’s. Ziggy, Aladdin Sane and the Diamond Dogs are long gone.  He has given up ch-ch-ch changes for formula.

Lyrically, he is reminiscing about the past, concerned about the future, and kind of pissing and moaning about the present. He sounds a little cranky. The Bowie mystique has evaporated.

This album will sell like hotcakes. He may even get a couple of hits, or at the very least movie and television soundtrack bites. The younger generation, enamoured by Bowie and aware of his enormous influence, will eat this up. Us old Bowie enthusiasts will be underwhelmed. I suspect I may not be listening to this album in a month. Most of it is good, some very good, not great.

Should I cut him some slack for being so old at 66 and being able to walk without breaking a hip? I refuse to subscribe to that ridiculous notion. Art is art at any age. No excuses.

John Cale released an artistic album last year without recognition. Adam Ant released a new album this year that explored newer territory than Bowie. Hard to imagine, but it’s true.

“The Next Day” is not an artistic work, it’s just merely the next day. He waited 10 years to play it safe?

It’s hard to complain since today’s music all blends together. It is still nice to hear David’s voice and songs again, even though it makes me long to hear the album “Space Oddity”. I miss that wild-eyed boy from Freecloud.

David Bowie – Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud


About Stevie GB

60 year old stand up comedian from Long Island. My approach to comedy is telling the truth about being married, middle aged and living in the suburbs. I enjoy making people laugh without making them feel uncomfortable. My act is clean and clever. Featured in Newsday and on News12. Winner of the Huntington Arts Council Laff-off, 2006. 3rd place winner of LI Press Best of LI 2011, A regular on The Long Island Comedy Festival for 9 consecutive years. Opened for Dennis Miller, Louie Anderson, Kevin Pollak, Bobby Collins, Bob Nelson, Uncle Floyd, Kevin Meaney, and many more.

One response to “Bowie’s Next Day

  1. Alan ⋅

    Well, I was never a fan of his Berlin period. I preferred the “songwriter” Bowie(Hunky Dory)and the Ziggy/Aladdin Sane era. But I will give the new album a listen.
    – Alan

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