It seemed like from Scary Monsters onwards, Bowie wasn't too sure what to do. He made a dance album, a reggae album, a 70 minute long concept album, an industrial dance album, you name it. He had pretty much said everything he could say, and even he admits that. But on The Next Day, he shows he's still got that Bowie magic in his music that his last run of albums were unable to replicate. He takes it back to the late 70s where his art rock era began, and sounds more like a continuation of those albums. The sound may not be anything original, but godDAMN did he do a good job at it!
The production is nothing short of immaculately made; it's incredibly well done, it sounds beautiful and is intoxicating. If Heathen didn't do a good enough job at the production this late into Bowie's career, then The Next Day hit it out of the park. At this point I didn't think Bowie's vocals were a star feature of his music anymore, which was definitely the case with Earthling and Heathen. However on this album, Bowie sings his goddamn heart out. I can't help but sing along to it myself, it was hard to stop myself. Bowie's lyricism is still top-notch, as it's always been. Maybe a decade's break can do someone's musical career really good justice. Then again, Black Tie White Noise took 6 years to release so... who knows on that point.
The only real criticism I have is that there were a few tracks that weren't all that memorable. I didn't dislike anything from this album, I did enjoy those tracks too, but there wasn't much in them that there was in the other tracks that justified me coming back to them. Apart from that however, this is an incredible comeback album for Bowie and his best album in quite a long time! Is it even possible to follow this up with a better album this late into his career? What else does he have to say?
favourite tracks: The Next Day, Dirty Boys, The Stars (Are Out Tonight), Love Is Lost, Where Are We Now, If You Can See Me, Dancing Out In Space, You Feel So Lonely You Could Die, Heat
least favourite: How Does The Grass Grow?