The Man. The Myth. The Legend: David Bowie. While he may be maintaining over 40 years in the industry he’s also celebrating his 69th birthday, and the release of his latest work, his 25th album Blackstar. This new album provokes the subtle sense of flying. The delicate details of eerie instrumentals that effortlessly fuse jazz elements with an underlying galactic melody, that showcase Bowies smooth vocal croon which soars above each track creates an incredible momentum which is impossible not to get lost in.
Opening with its title track Blackstar, the avant-garde, gargantuan, 10-minute track sets the tone, introducing the mind-melting electro jazz fusion that dominates the record. Spouting twisted lyrics, the subtle jabs at the conniving aspect to religious views, drone repetitively, “in the villa of Ormen, stands a solitary candle” which layers the melody all too well. Never one to shy away from incredibly raw lyrical content, Lazarus references the biblical character of the same name. Describing how metaphorically, he feels departed from this life, with trumpets crooning an eerie funeral march, Bowie exclaims, “look up here, I’m in heaven” / “I’ve got scars that can’t be seen”.
Delving deeper into the black hole that is Blackstar it takes a dark turn as its eclectic sound deepens, adding a certain haste that empowers Bowies lurking lyrics. Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime) and Girl Loves Me pulse and writhe with such an intense beat that pulses on until you’re left in a stark silence, before enticing you back with the smooth harmony of the next track.
While it’s home to only 7 tunes, Blackstar is quite cutting edge, pulsing with experimental sound. There’s excitement as the sci-fi melody flourishes and falls with its dramatic jazz flair while you’re encompassed by the spellbinding lyrical arrangement. It’s an album that requires an open mind and your full attention and it’s quite possible it’s something only the iconic David Bowie could pull off.