David Bowie
The Next Day


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
March 15th, 2013 | 25 replies | 3,814 views


Release Date: 03/08/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ...

It is safe to say the whole world was taken aback after the sudden release of "Where Are We Now?" on The Thin White Duke's 66th birthday at the beginning of January. Some kept up with David Bowie's extended hiatus hoping for a new album, while others stopped awaiting or even gave up expecting one. After all, the man had nothing left to prove after 36 years during which he dropped a plethora of classics for the world to consume.

Still, Bowie returned with a lovely record only he could have released. An eclectic affair, The Next Day is almost everything one would expect from him. There are various throwbacks to his stellar '70s material, starting from the obvious modified Heroes cover, to the actual music. This includes traces of the 'plastic soul' of Young Americans on the sleazy, lounge-tinged "Dirty Boys", featuring some suggestive saxophone touches, or the aforementioned Heroes and Lodger references on the title track and "How Does The Grass Grow?", respectively. Besides these, there are various other links to the past, but it wouldn't do justice to think of The Next Day only as a reminder that Bowie still lives and can make music. On the contrary, there is a lot to love here and even though there's not that much experimentation going on (for the better of it, as Dave's quite past the time when wild experiments are welcomed), the album doesn't expand on solely tried-and-tested formulas, offering original points of view along the way.

There are few artists who can make such strong comebacks and even turn the whole project into an honest fun ride. From the sweet title track, he crushes all death-centered rumors summed up in the past decade, declaring "Here I am, not quite dying!" and the really catchy, straightforward rock tune, "(You Will) Set The World On Fire" will make anyone sing along at some point. Then there is the current single, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" with its' groovy bass line and simple yet effective guitar leads, that makes for an impressive track in his catalog. Also, the tongue-in-cheek lyrics gives it a characteristic flair that was sorely missed during these years of inactivity. Both "Valentine's Day" and "Love Is Lost" are another couple of highlights. The former features an infectious guitar lead and a humble, nasal vocal delivery, while the latter's more urgent instrumentation, along with the sad lyrics that tell the tale of a coming of age, facing the less pleasant side of life (in this case, love life), give the tune a more uneasy tone.

For a large part of The Next Day, David's voice sounds timeless. He isn't afraid to showcase his still powerful voice, croon or hitting high notes, yet he is betrayed at times by age, feeling more at ease on the beautiful, past reflecting ballad, "Where Are We Now?" or the unexpectedly somber closer, "Heat". Nevertheless, a lot of artists would kill to have his surprisingly strong delivery at age 66.

As a conclusion, The Next Day is an excellent record, that brings David Bowie back into the spotlights, but also introducing him to a new generation of listeners (myself included). This is an excellent record for newcomers to sink in and a great one for old fans, too. Anyone who gave up on Bowie needs to get this to convince themselves that he still has it no matter how skeptical one's approach might be.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this record, there are a lot of highlights to talk about. I wanted to give a shot at reviewing it, even though I recently discovered all his great record. Constructive criticism appreciated.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

tommygun
March 15th 2013



23629 Comments


fuck yes will read

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

breakingthefragile
March 15th 2013



2950 Comments


Uh, I dibbed this dude.

Digging: Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know...

tommygun
March 15th 2013



23629 Comments


good review man

I admire you for having a crack at this cos all the stuff about the circumstances surrounding its release have been done
to death in basically every single review on the internet and there's not much to say about the album itself other than it's
bowie being bowie and he still kicks ass

would pos if I could

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@tommy - Thanks. I read a lot of reviews for this, but I just gave my opinion. Like you said it's been dissected by everyone in the past week, but what the hell. Probably everything I wrote here has been said. Anyway, I love The Stars so much! I listened to it alone over a dozen times yesterday.

@breakingthefragile - Were you about to review this ? If so, sorry :D.

breakingthefragile
March 15th 2013



2950 Comments


Yeah, I literally just finished my review and I was about to post it, and then I see this lol. You should join the Sputnik contributor facebook group if you have a facbook, we have a list set up where people claim which albums they want to review beforehand so we can avoid conflicts like this. Would you mind if I uploaded my review anyway? We kind of have different opinions, I gave this a 3.5 instead of a 4.

tommygun
March 15th 2013



23629 Comments


yo breaking you should post yours anyway I'm a fan of your work

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh great. I was just thinking there should be someplace where contributors and staff members tell each other who's gonna review what. There's no problem, it's my mistake for doing this unannounced. I saw no one did it and wrote it yesterday. Can you give me the link to the Facebook group to join it ? Again, sorry for this.

Nevermind, I found the page.
Oh and is anyone gonna review the new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club record ? If not, I'm almost done with mine.

breakingthefragile
March 15th 2013



2950 Comments


Dude it's fine lol, don't sweat it. I just asked if you're alright with me uploading my review because I know that there's the possibility of that detracting from the amount of views and feedback you could get on your review. And it's not your fault man, I just assumed that all the contributors on Sputnik had had been invited to and were a part of the facebook group since we have like 27 members currently. Just shoot me a friend's request on facebook, "Alex Beebe" I have Sputnik listed as my work, and I'll be happy to link you to the group.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wasn't aware of it. I made a request to join.

tommygun
March 15th 2013



23629 Comments


dodododooo dodododoo stars are never sleeping

dodododooo dodododoo dead ones and the living

bass grooves

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That bass line is so cool and the guitars do so much with such simple riffs.

tommygun
March 15th 2013



23629 Comments


agreed

tommygun
March 15th 2013



23629 Comments


fuckin right it is

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, when I added the album in the database, I double checked it to make sure it's real. Now, I like it. It's...different.

Kaleid
March 15th 2013



710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, balanced review. It's amazing that he managed to pull off an album this fresh and this good after so long, but he did.

As for his vocals, they've always been best on the slowies anyway; stuff like The Loneliest Guy.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. No matter what style he approached, the vocals were never sub par.

foxblood
March 15th 2013



6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice review

WhiteNoise
March 15th 2013



3048 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still can't stop listening to this!

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2013



3336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Foxblood.
Me neither! It's amazing how simple and catchy is everything.



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