So, today, the songs won't be the main focus of this review. Yeah, I know, weird, but, that's because, to me, there's something a thousand times more meaningful about this record, and that is the album cover. I know a lot of people absolutely despise the album cover because it's lazy or really boring. I mean, sure, it's just the album cover of "Heroes" with a white square put right in front of it, covering up David's face and with the title of the album "The Next Day".
I've always found the album cover intriguing over anything, "The Next Day" has one of my favorite album covers, even when I had never heard the record up until yesterday, this was the cover that made me get interested in David Bowie as a whole. I truly think the message it tries to convey is also really beautiful, and very rarely do I see it getting mentioned. I believe "The Next Day"'s entire concept revolves around being way past your prime. This record came out 10 years after "Reality" a criminally underrated album that never got the attention it deserved (though I'll blame the cover art for that), David pretty much disappeared after that, very rarely did he have public appearances or in general, he had gone out of the spotlight.
This record feels like the focus goes on David's life after his prime, after those Berlin years where he was at the peak of his career, both by rehabilitating from his drug use, and also making some of the most ahead of its time music ever. That white square represents the realization that those days are long gone, like a door of reality to show how things have changed drastically since then.
I think the lyrics do showcase this, this album feels like a reflection of David's whole career, the very melancholic feeling of both the delivery and instrumentation alongside the very introspective sensation of the record does nothing but support that sensation of time moving on and leaving behind those days that David Bowie revered so much.
This of course is just my interpretation, the cover art could very well be about a whole different thing, but, that's what makes it so special, how open to interpretation it can get to be. Amazing album either way, and most likely, one of the most underappreciated album covers I have ever seen.