The Nostalgia Series, vol. 1: David Bowie’s Blackstar

By: Alvindra |

It’s been three years since David Bowie released Blackstar, his last and his 27th studio album. Released just two days before his death, Blackstar is the cumulation of David Bowie’s whole career and all of the personas he had. The album received great reception upon its release, and with the sudden death of Bowie, Blackstar was on top of everyone’s “2016 top music releases”.

The album opens with the single “Blackstar”. The song is very experimental, with multiple instruments composing the Rock-Jazz track. The track talks about Bowie coming into acceptance with his inevitable death after fighting cancer for 18 months. With all the cryptic references in it, “Blackstar” along with its MV is one of the most beautiful musical pieces in 2016. The second song “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore” is Bowie’s single that was released back in 2014. With Jazz saxophone playing in the background, Bowie uses “whore” as a metaphor for time slowly stealing everything he had. The third song “Lazarus” is another Rock-Jazz track in the album. The song is titled after Saint Lazarus, and of course it discusses about immortality in the form of Bowie’s legacy. Experimental Avant Garde track “Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)” is most likely Bowie talking and saying goodbye to himself, with Sue being another persona of him he created. “Girl Loves Me” is definitely the weirdest track in the album. In the song, he sing in both English and Nadsat, a language developed for Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange”. The Industrial Rock-influenced song basically talks about his existential crisis and being under heavy medications for the last few years of his life. On the 6th track, “Dollar Days”, Bowie finally addresses the news of his death to his fans, with saxophone, guitar, and percussions running in the background forming yet another exceptional Rock-Jazz track. The album, and David Bowie’s career, is closed by the song “I Can’t Give Everything Away”. In the Rock-Jazz track, Bowie implied that he has moved on and completely accepted his death.

Ultimately, Blackstar is one of the best albums of 2016, and arguably the best David Bowie album since Heroes. The production in Blackstar is genius, the use of instruments is just simply on point, nothing too much and nothing too little. The album is very Jazz and Industrial influenced, and as usual, Bowie is not afraid to incorporate experimental sounds. The theme discussed in the album and the fact that his health condition was hidden from the world really gives it a deep, introspective meaning. His death, which took place two days after the release added even more meaning to the already very personal album. Lastly, Bowie iconic voice was still as good as before, and combined with the perfect production and deep lyrical substances we are for the last time blessed with a David Bowie masterpiece.

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