David Bowie - Blackstar
Aug 24, 2019
It was January 8, 2016. Bowie had just released a new album titled "Blackstar". Little did the whole world know, that this record was something truly special to Bowie. This was not just any ordinary David Bowie album. I mean, people loved this thing. Critics loved it, the people loved it, it was truly a return to form for Bowie. Some even hailed it as his best work.

With this album's release, people were excited to see what Bowie had in store next. He had just released probably his most experimental work yet and even one of his best albums of all time nearing the age of 70. What comes after this?

Two days later. It was announced that David Bowie had passed away of liver cancer. The man, the myth, the legend. The man who had supplied the world of some of the most phenomenal rock music, or music in general, over a span of 24 albums. An absolute pop culture icon that had just released his best work in years... passed away. Just like that. What people didn't know was the cancer part. Bowie had been struggling with terminal liver cancer for 18 months, and he knew that he was short on time. So what did he do?

Did he accept his fate and simply tell the world he didn't have much time left? Or did he put his hands up, yell "Screw it" and make a 10 minute experimental rock opera with elements of jazz music and techno?

He's David Bowie for christ sake, he did the second one.

Through that time of his life, he decided to make a parting gift for the world and for the fans. Blackstar was his way of saying goodbye. It's truly a special moment when an artist's final album is one of their best, and that's what Bowie aimed to do. The same exact year, A Tribe Called Quest released their final album to high critical acclaim and praise. The Beatles released Abbey Road, their best album. (Technically their final album, although Let It Be exists) J Dilla left the world releasing Donuts, an instrumental hip hop album that some claim to be the best instrumental hip hop album of all time. Bowie did exactly this, with Blackstar.

What is Blackstar, exactly? Well... I've written quite a lot already, so I guess I should summarize my feelings down here.

Blackstar is a near masterpiece. It's an absolutely beautiful combination of art rock, experimental rock and jazz elements. The instrumentation is probably some of Bowie's best of all time. This album has a large emphasis on horns (maybe a throwback to Bowie learning the saxophone as his first instrument) and the combination is completely successful. While The Next Day was a throwback to his old art rock sound but didn't sound too dated, Blackstar was an all new sound. Even in his last few months, Bowie knew he had to make this special. He pulled all the cards in this album. Bowie's vocals are also amazing on this album.

The lyrics are probably one of the most talked about parts of this album, and it makes sense why. The lyrics talk about death... but what type of death?
"Look up here, I'm in heaven"

"Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar)"

"Oh I'll be free, just like that bluebird, oh I'll be free"

"I'm trying to, I'm dying to, I'm trying to, I'm dying to"

"Where the f*** did Monday go?"

It's really weird thinking about these lyrics, knowing Bowie knew exactly what he was writing about. He wasn't writing about any death, he was writing about his own. He knew his fate, and while pondering his mortality and the thought of death, he was also telling his fans that "he'll be free".

The story of this album, the actual sound of it and the concept is in my opinion what makes this one of Bowie's all time best albums. He was truly an icon. He was a genre chameleon, as people liked to say. Glam rock, art rock, alternative dance, friggin' reggae, jazz, soul, funk rock, ambient, electronic, folk, whatever the hell he was doing when making "Sell Me A Coat", he did it all. Bowie was one of the greatest artists of all time, and he will never be forgotten. I know I'm writing this 3 years after he actually died, but I've been writing quite long reviews for Bowie's albums recently. I just think it was deserved. I had a lot on my mind, that's usually why my reviews look really drawn out.


favourite tracks: Blackstar, Tis A Pity She Was A Whore, Lazarus, Girl Loves Me, Dollar Days, I Can't Give Everything Away
least favourite: Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)

Summary: Incredible

Woah man, this was long. Next up, Bing Jizzard and the Flizzard Hizzard.
Aug 24, 2019
Goddamn, your reviews always make me wonder "what the hell am i doing" when it comes to my reviews.
Aug 24, 2019
@Toasterqueen12 Most of the time I think I'm writing too much lol
Aug 24, 2019
@RakkSmells nah, all your shit is perfect. Like, I think you and Inglume have the best track records on the site
Aug 25, 2019
good job
Jan 26, 2020
A really great review.
Feb 29, 2020
saxophones aren’t horns >:(
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