Bowie's last album, 'Blackstar' on vinyl just £29.99

An interpretation of Bowie's last album

Bowie's last video, Lazarus shows him singing from his sick bed. What an artist, he knew he was dying and used that as an artistic tool. The song Lazarus is poignant we now know :

"Look up here, I'm in heaven
I've got scars that can't be seen
I've got drama, can't be stolen
Everybody knows me now
Look up here, man, I'm in danger
I've got nothing left to lose
I'm so high it makes my brain whirl
Dropped my cell phone down below
Ain't that just like me?"

Blackstar isn't for everyone, it's a work of art not a chorus. The album has seven songs some are "light" and some, as you'd expect are "dark".  Many of the songs are unsettling with a dark, avant-garde saxophone. Blackstar showcases an artist determined to push the limits right up to the end. Bowie could still have come up with an accessible pop song or two if he’d wanted to – he was a great singles artist after all and no stranger to chart action. But despite the promise of the second part of the opening track, he largely opts for jazzy, experimental art-rock that, at times can be challenging for the unsuspecting listener. Unlike the best of his earlier work which seemed to arrive fully-formed, you can hear the hard slog and the effort that went into these recordings. Still, there are moments of sheer brilliance: in particular, ‘Lazarus’ – now, of course replete with heavy symbolism – packs in a martial drum pattern, pulsating bass, creeping saxophone and another terrific vocal performance.

‘Dollar Days’ is a lush, hazy ballad with piano and acoustic guitars: his poignant words now seem heartbreakingly prophetic: “If I never see England’s evergreens I’m running to... it’s nothing to me and "I'm dying too". The mid-tempo rocker ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’ – which maybe some kind of surrender – offers dense layers and textures with an engaging, almost ‘Heroes’-like chorus. The song is simply beautiful. The alternative view on the song is that Bowie realizes he has more left inside him but it's never going to get out.  

For us  this is the ultimate work of art. The album is a commentary on facing death and wondering what happens next. It's still "current" and that's what Bowie managed that few artists have been able to do. He had a career of fifty years and yet every album has intrinsic value, every album is a narrative in the overall narrative of his life. You never feel with Bowie that "the band didn't agree on direction" and were stressing about it. Bowie was always Bowie, at his best, at his worst a true authentic artist like few others.


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