By Clare McCabe
Released March 8th, 2013 - Sony Music
Who knew David Bowie had any new music left in him? The man with many personas (and THAT voice) is back.
Following a heart scare in 2004, Bowie pretty much became a retired family man - hanging out in NYC with his wife and daughter and perhaps not thinking about music as being his thing any more.
Totally love that he kept the recording sessions a closely guarded secret for this new album. Working again with Tony Visconti (the man responsible for Space Oddity among many others) must have been a treat for both of them - and something neither would have thought likely a few years back. In the words of Mr Bowie himself - "I feel like writing again". Lucky for us.
Where Are We Now? is an early favourite of the album, so slow and melodic and sounding like one of his back-catalogue rather than a new tune. Also of note is Love Is Lost (very atmospheric and slow-mo), and How Does the Grass Grow with its catchy little chorus and piano. Lots of different styles here in one album, but when you haven't released anything for such a long time you would expect lots of different influences.
The highlight for me however must be The Stars (Are Out Tonight) - so much going on in this song and the stunning video starring Tilda Swinton is well worth a watch - check it out immediately, the video will sell you on the album all by itself. I am sorry but how the hell can Bowie still look so good at the ripe old age of 66?
Isn't it interesting that a singer who has been performing now for 40+ years can still manage to make an album that is not only current, but reaches Number 1 on the charts in many countries - well done old friend.
According to Tony Visconti, the chances of Bowie touring this album are pretty slim, especially any sort of stadium tour sadly. The odd show maybe, but definitely no big tours. Which just reminds us how great it was to actually see him live within his touring career (notably for me the Serious Moonlight Tour in the 80s at Western Springs).
And one final point - that cover... so simple yet so cool - love it. Welcome back Mr Bowie - we missed you.
4.5 / 5