Bowie is a musical beacon for me. A chameleon of sound, capable of creating exquisite pop, rock or even one of my favorites, 1977’s Low. His forthcoming Black Star album sounds promising. A return to the eastern rhythms and analog synth work explored on past tracks like “Warzawa” while pushing himself and his art further out.
In “Black Star” Bowie utilizes bits of broken pop in the interludes to connect the darker elements of the song, juxtaposing his pitch-shifted (at least an octave – and an octave +) vocals to great effect. At nearly 10 minutes TRT the song swings and slips, serpentine-like, shifting into MoTown-like chorus, alleviated tension created in the verse. Flute & saxophone interweave through the track and seemingly collide near the end as the drums breakapart.
In the era of the ephemeral, “Blackstar” shines bright in substance and forethought.
Check out the gorgeously shot video for “Blackstar” below. Directed by Breaking Bad director Johan Renck.
Look, if you’re a fan of Bowie and know his work well enough, the provocative elements of the video won’t be anything new. In fact, it’s one of the best visual accommodations to a Bowie track I’ve seen in a long time.
David Bowie “Blackstar” from 2016’s Black Star
David Bowie “Warzawa” from 1977’s Low