Bowie bounces back after heart attack

Michelle Daniek, Staff Reporter

David Bowie’s iconic music and performance on stage need no introduction. Best known for his 1972 revolutionary album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, and his flashy, vivid getups, he has been dubbed by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest artists of all time. Ten years since his last album, Bowie is neither rusty, nor out-of-date with his spectacular recent release, The Next Day.
There has always been something undeniably intriguing about Bowie, and this album puts that quality in the spotlight. He begins the record with something of a doomsday mystique, ironically playing on the recent rumors of his crumbling health with lyrics like, “Here I am, not quite dying, my body left in a hollow tree.” Gritty sax and guitar playing characterize this album, giving the glam-rock artist a muddy, almost sultry edge. Bowie succeeds in effortlessly combining his old, legendary sound with an intimate, vaguely mysterious, and less bluesy tone. This intimacy is found in tracks such as the lyrically dense “I’d Rather Be High,” which recalls the post-war life of a traumatized soldier. Other tracks follow suit, covering a spectrum of heart-wrenching topics, from the tragic ballad of a high school shooter, to Bowie’s meditations on celebrity culture.
“You Feel So Lonely You Could Die” is a song for stereo speakers, incorporating a blazing guitar and drum line indicative of Ziggy Stardust’s “Suffragette City.” “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” is perhaps the most revered and successful track on the album, and reflects on the immortal nature of a celebrity with a backdrop of descending synth and guitar progressions.
The Next Day is a musical resurrection, a work of art, and a thrilling comeback for anticipating fans. While many of the songs could easily fit into one of his many hit records from the 70s, Bowie has successfully extended his abstract themes from previous works into a new, modern, and energetic achievement. The Next Day proves that Bowie, at age 66, has plenty left to give the world musically, and this record has earned a spot among his many great works.