Posted to the surprise of January 8, the song Where Are We Now, celebrating both the unexpected return and the 66th anniversary of David Bowie, so that was a shock a false trail. Upstream of an album, The Next Day, whose exit was announced on 11 March – and is distributed free streaming on the iTunes platform until March 12 – the ghostly ballad and video simulcast on the Internet offered the fragility of a nostalgic walk beyond the grave (“Walking the Dead”) in Berlin before the fall of the Wall, the same one where the singer wrote in the second half of the 1970s, some one of the most exciting of his discography pages.
This intimacy is doubled twilight of greyish images video directed by American artist Tony Oursler videographer – already at work at the time of the album Outside (1995) -, showing the star revived a tired face, projected on the head of a rag doll. You could interpret the stigma of the disease rumors were echoed to explain ten years of absence. Dorian Gray Rock was so old and die. This probably would feed the theme and atmosphere of a 24th album-like swan song (White Duke) … Well, not at all.
Heard at a group listening Sony and scrutinized several times with headphones, always on the premises of a record faithfully following marketing dictates of the master, The Next Day is primarily a rock show, loud, often brilliant, sometimes flashy, David Bowie fired up.
“We all know he had a health scare in 2003, 2004 know,” said recently Tony Visconti, historical accomplice and co-producer of The Next Day, referring to heart attack and undergone emergency operation to time, the ic? British do. “But David is in great shape, it has a rosy complexion and smiled a lot. He still has power in his chest and his voice … When he started singing, I have to go back and go into another room for let alone with the microphone. ”
This demonstrative vitality also appears in a new video, The Stars (Are Out Tonight) away from the moodiness of his predecessor. This time directed by Floria Sigismondi (with whom Bowie had worked in 1996 and 1997), this colorful production and removed guitars features a Bowie to sprightly sixty playing with self-deprecating status of ic ing public – “We will rid us ever stars / but I hope they will always live “- and his own legacy. Multiplying the effects of mirrors with actress Tilda Swinton and young performers, it contemplates the androgynous twin who continued to live in his creations.
These look at the themes that made him one of the most important innovators in the history of rock winks also grow to question. That to which the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, dedicated from March 23 an ambitious exhibition, “David Bowie Is”, may still be a pop oracle? This “blank canvas on which we draw our dreams,” was talking about British sociologist Simon Frith?
If health problems have spread to the arts in 2003, the decade of silence that is imposed may also be interpreted as the choice to enjoy a little girl, now aged 10 and the result of a creative fatigue. Ubiquitous since 1969, Bowie was found that its impact has become less important over the 1990s. His absence has since rebuilt the myth, especially as artists from all persuasions have consistently maintained his influence. This new album takes it the risk of a burst dent become history?
The cover of The Next Day brings elements ambivalent response. Misuse of the cover of Heroes, one of his most famous albums, on which the artist Jonathan Barnbrook striped title and put a white square, this design shows a renunciation of the past, which can not help be anchored.
In fact, self-citations abound in this record, probably facilitated by the presence of Tony Visconti – three albums together with the singer since 1970 – and musicians – Earl Slick and Gerry Leonard on guitar, Gail Ann Dorsey on bass The overkill Sterling Campbell on drums … – Present the latest recording and touring singer.
Rather than simply the so-called “Berlin” (the Heroes) period, Bowie takes in a pretty patchwork, several trends of a polymorphic career. Can be found in songs such as Boss of Me or painful If You Can See Me winding architectures and brain distortions guitars Robert Fripp and Carlos Alomar offered to Heroes, Lodger and Scary Monsters. Surprising when a baritone sax wriggles background cubic blues (Dirty Boys), this trend is also fueled rock art (Love Is Lost) a theatricality that former interpreter Baal once borrowed from Kurt Weill. The anxiety context of texts again marked by the Orwellian concepts, encouraging (sometimes heavily) this expressionism.
The melodies Bowie overlaps with more panache refer to romantic impulses of his glam period. In alien champion of ambiguous sexual tees, Ziggy Stardust then gave emotion to the most beautiful fireworks. These echoes resound in Valentine’s Day, when Earl Slick blackmailed electricity in the manner of Mick Ronson, guitar hero of the Spiders from Mars period before the chorus reminiscent of a sixties nostalgia that already in Drive in Saturday (1973 ). The slender I’d Rather Be High modernizing this retro touch in a strolling guitar haughty heart tee U2 before the singer found the lyricism of a slow old school, so You Feel Lonely You Could Die, ending with a literal quote the introduction of Five Years (1972).
This demonstration of “return to form”, uncommon among artists of his generation, David Bowie singing increases in doing everything to prove its vitality. Over time, his vocal range is narrowed a little more comfortable now in his cockney characters ringworm or old cantankerous, than in the existential crooner. Although Heat, amid soaring synthesizer and acoustic guitar, plays anxious to Scott Walker cooing.