After a decade long break from making music, leading everyone to believe that Reality was Bowie's final statement to the music word, the madman surprise releases The Next Day, an album that is hands-down his best comeback to date. Out of all his supposed comebacks, some of which I actually like a hell of a lot, The Next Day is the one that honestly feels the most like a comeback. It's a grand return to that sound that he perfected way back in the '70s, that being a more straight-to-the-point art rock. And sure, that means that he isn't exactly breaking any new ground in 2013 like he did back in 1971, but at least it's a refreshing sound. After multiple decades of admittedly underwhelming material, and being released in a decade where rock was far from being the most important or even interesting genre around, a legend like Bowie coming back and making an album like The Next Day, proving that you can still make great records within this worn-out genre, ends up being the biggest breath of fresh air since 1980's Scary Monsters.
I'm gonna be honest; to me, The Next Day isn't the most captivating album out there. I know it has its fans, and even I myself once considered it to be a top-ten worthy Bowie album, but while it is still extremely close to that point, it just doesn't scratch the itch that it once did anymore. Maybe it's the fact that it is completely overshadowed by the much more unique, innovative, and hard-hitting album released only a few years after this one, Blackstar, or more likely it's the fact that I've listened to all of his albums a few times already and know which ones I prefer to revisit, but The Next Day does strike me as a little forgettable in the grand scheme of things. Maybe not as forgettable as, say, Never Let Me Down or Black Tie White Noise, but when compared to all the other critically acclaimed albums he's made over the years, whether that's his '70s output or even his '90s material, it really doesn't stick out all that much. And perhaps that is down to it knowing what it is, not treating itself as if it is doing anything new or original, and instead is just Bowie doing what Bowie does best, that it ends up feeling a bit less exciting with every new listen and a lot less intriguing with every new listen. But saying that, this is simply Bowie doing what Bowie does best, and as such, you really aren't going to find it to be a lackluster listen or a disappointment in any sense of the word. Instead, you're going to find a solid album.
Sure, the track listing really isn't the most amazing thing ever, but it does have a few highlights that somehow shows that Bowie in his 60s was a much better artist than Bowie in his 40s and 50s. The title track alone is one of his best songs from his 2010s output, and from his later career output in general. It honestly reminds me a little of Beauty And The Beast off "Heroes" with how off-kilter the instrumentals are. And although the album doesn't remain as weird as that initial song may have you believe, a hell of a lot of the cuts here really do prove to you that this is still an album well worth repeated listens. It instantly proves to you this with Dirty Boys being a really solid rock tune, which is instantly topped with The Stars, Love Is Lost, Where Are We Now, etcetera. Really, The Next Day is just an album that keeps on giving, with there not really being a single low point to be seen. Sure, some tracks like Boss Of Me and Set The World On Fire really don't grab my attention as much as something like Heat does, but all things considered they're still really solid tracks.
And the performances all throughout this thing are simply fantastic. Bowie was one vocalist who never seemed to lose his singing prowess in the slightest. Even though he did lose some of that range thanks to all the smoking he had done throughout his life, even these late albums released at a point in his life where most singers would be noticeably weaker than they used to be show him as an incredible vocalist, one who instantly captivates you with all his charm and all his abilities. It really is amazing coming to a song like The Next Day after listening to a much earlier song that perfectly shows his talents at that point in time, such as Space Oddity, and seeing how Bowie in his 60s, while noticeably aged, really isn't a weaker singer in the slightest. Also, the instrumentals, while I wouldn't really call them the most interesting things in Bowie's lengthy discography, really do suit the album well. There are times where they shine brighter than others, namely the title track which I feel is mostly noteworthy due to its instrumentals, but they are consistent and they do compliment Bowie's singing. I do think that there are a couple of songs where their genericness can be a bit too distracting, and their more simplistic rock approach does make them a lot less notable, but they're still good nonetheless.
Honestly, while The Next Day isn't my favourite Bowie album, it is still a really solid and incredibly likable outing. It's like Bowie had been waiting those ten years just to warm himself up to start releasing content of the quality that he is best known for. And while he wasn't quite at that peak again yet, he was extremely close, and it would only be a few years until he would really prove that he could do what he once did in the modern era.
Favourite Tracks: The Next Day; The Stars (Are Out Tonight); Valentine's Day; Heat; Dirty Boys
Least Favourite Track: Boss Of Me
Jun 8, 2019
After a decade-long hiatus, David Bowie comes back with what is unquestionably his best album in years. Decades, even. The Next Day is not only one of the better albums he's had since 1980s Scary Monsters, but this is easily one of the greatest comeback albums I've ever heard.
While it's not without its problems, The Next Day is one of Bowie's most consistently great record to date. This album proves that Bowie still had it in him to make records on par, and possibly even better than, his 70s golden years. Right when the opener and title track came on, I knew I was in for a treat.
Every track on here was fun, expertly written, and just straight up amazing. From the title track, the incredibly enjoyable The Stars, If You Can See Me, and (You Will) Set The World On Fire, to the emotional You Feel So Lonely You Could Die, and even the perfect closer Heat, you can see that Bowie knew that he needed to make something amazing to present to his fans to show that he hadn't completely lost his charm from the 1970s. This album does just that and proves that even in his old age he was perfectly capable of making a well-written, fun sound and overall fantastic album.
Favourite Tracks: (You Will) Set The World On Fire; Where Are We Now?; The Next Day; You Feel So Lonely You Could Die; Heat; How Does The Grass Grow?; If You Can See Me
Least Favourite Track: I'd Rather Be High
|1||The Next Day / 85|
|2||Dirty Boys / 80|
|3||The Stars (Are Out Tonight) / 85|
|4||Love Is Lost / 75|
|5||Where Are We Now? / 80|
|6||Valentine's Day / 80|
|7||If You Can See Me / 75|
|8||I'd Rather Be High / 80|
|9||Boss of Me / 80|
|10||Dancing Out In Space / 80|
|11||How Does the Grass Grow? / 85|
|12||(You Will) Set the World On Fire / 80|
|13||You Feel So Lonely You Could Die / 75|
|14||Heat / 70|