Bowie's excursion to jazz
With "Blackstar", David Bowie's new album "The Next Day" will be released just two years after his number one record. And as with his predecessor, the release date falls on January 8th on the singer's birthday - his 69th.
Bowie presents a total of seven new songs on "Blackstar", which, as one is already used to from his albums, have little to do with the previous records. While "The Next Day" was still a musical career review in terms of Bowie's styles, this time he dares to take a 42-minute trip towards jazz with "Blackstar".
To do this, he quickly grabbed the local jazz elite and went with them to the New York "The Magic Shop" studio, where he produced the album together with Tony Visconti.
Besides jazz, other influences can be heard on "Blackstar": Electronica, Dubstep and of course Pop. Furthermore, according to co-producer Visconti in an interview with Rolling Stone, you could hear the rapper Kendrick Lamar, whose last album "To Pimp A Butterfly", like Bowie's records, lives from the influence of many different styles.
A first foretaste of "Blackstar" was already given on 20 November 2015 with the title track. Here pop elements meet jazzy saxophone, marching drums and a touch of Gregorian chant. Bowie's voice is almost on the same level as the instruments. The result is a spherical and hypnotic whole that gradually casts a spell over you with monumental nine minutes and 57 seconds.
The accompanying video, which due to the length of the song can probably be called a short film, was shot by none other than Johan Renck, who already directed the series "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead".
With "Blackstar", David Bowie reinvented himself for the last time - nothing else we would have expected from him. The album is another testimony to his genius and genre-spanning creativity.
"Much of the album, produced by Tony Visconti, is reminiscent of the Bowie of the 1970s with Ziggy Stardust and the Bowie of the '80s with Nile Rodgers, transported into the now with lots of breakbeats and electronics. This creates a fantastic dynamic in the course of the almost 45 minutes (Jazzthing, February / March 2016)
"With faithful companion / producer Tony Visconti and top musicians from New York at his side, he created a mixture of intricate jazz, electronica and dubstep that fits perfectly with the main theme of the farewell work." (Stereo, March 2016)
"An album with seven very different tales of a master of metamorphosis who, looking ahead, allows himself one last dose of psychedelic. Chapeau!" (stereoplay, march 2016)
"His great merit was the mirror he held up to us. "Bowie warned us that if pop music was boring. "And he created something new. Including Blackstar, his dazzling legacy (Audio, March 2016)
"The high musical quality of the album is not immediately apparent, but the album grows all the stronger in the following (MINT, February 2016)
"One big last curtain!" (Stereo, May 2016)