An absolutely astonishing finale is what Mr. Bowie has provided us with.
DAVID BOWIE BLACKSTAR (Columbia)
He definitely gave us something to grieve to, since Blackstar is nothing short of a beautiful orchestrated finale, magnificent exit music for an icon and a musical triumph.
My relationship with David Bowie has been a bit on and off, since I first encountered him and his music in the movie Christiane F – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo from 1981. After that first, slightly traumatic cinematic encounter, it was with the following release, Let’s Dance (1983), he had his first major impact on me, which fitted perfectly into my 10-year old pop surrounding. Other albums that’ve had an impact on me since then has been Black Tie, White Noise (1993) and his latest The Next Day (2013). And now this.
Mr. Bowie’s take on, what was to become his twenty-fifth and final album, was of course him knowing where it will end eventually and listening to his ominous prophecy and predictions one can only be in awe of the strength and determination he possessed in a situation, where any other mortal would’ve been devastated by fear and anguish. But then again, he was one of us, a mortal. Yet defined by his icon status and incomparable musicality, he created an exit unlike anything I’ve experienced.
Righteously dramatic, packed with nuances and prophecy filled lyrics makes Blackstar a vigorous journey into the realization of one’s own mortality. Everything is so delicately crafted by Mr. Bowie and his longtime fellow producer Tony Visconti, whether it be the 10-minute long title track, Blackstar, which more resembles a work of art than a pop song and that totally goes in alignment with Mr. Bowie’s artistry throughout the years. Or the jazz/rock fusion Sue (Or In The Season Of Crime), that easily could’ve been tedious, but even here the vital creative spell he was under, robbed off. What keeps me on the edge of my seat, is that underlying layer of nerves that tinges all seven tracks on the album. It’s both haunting and exhausting.
And then there’s Lazarus. Oh, Lazarus. So beautiful and so painful. And the magnificent Dollar Days, where he again is eye to eye with his then impending death, while contemplating over his past;
“If I never see the English evergreens I’m running to, means nothing to me.”
If anything, he leaves me breathless and in awe. Thank you, Mr. Bowie, what a gift you’ve left us.