Album Review: David Bowie – The Next Day

posted by on march 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm in Album Reviews

David Bowie - The Next Day

our rating

7.9

(good)

key points

  • forward-looking
  • strong musicianship
  • great songwriting
  • no instant classics

key tracks

  • The Next Day
  • Where are We now?
  • How Does The Grass Grow
  • You Feel So Lonely You Could Die

alec’s review

flow
8.5
originality
7
listenability
9
my score
9

As the most immortal artist of the glam-rock era, David Bowie is a legend that has influenced music and music history forever. With The Next Day, it’s become clear that he has no plans to stop. Too many legendary rockers expand their discography almost lazily at this stage in their careers, sticking to their guns and fearing evolution. The result is usually merely average albums that might tarnish the very legend that the artist was trying to cultivate and protect. Bowie bucks this trend by forging ahead. The sound of the album isn’t classic Bowie. It redefines what classic Bowie is and can be. The album is first and foremost a rock and roll record, which is almost a thing of the past these days, yet each track offers something different, reminding us that guitar-based rock and roll still has a place in the 21st century. Bowie’s songwriting is as amazing and spacy as always, and I honestly don’t hear much strain in the voice of the elderly rocker. There are quite a few voice effects and harmonies thrown in here and there to add an edge to some of the tracks, but nothing that distracts from Bowie’s naturally wonderful vocals. While everyone has their favorite Bowie, be it Ziggy Stardust Bowie or Heroes Bowie or Space Oddity Bowie, David Bowie is not content to settle in archetypes. By the end of the album it is clear that a stock definition of such a legend is impossible, and all I can hope is that he continues this round of proactivity to give us more to love.

Impression: Don’t expect more of the same, Bowie has reinvented himself and brought to the table a great rock and roll record with an ample touch of his quirks and oddities.

alex h’s review

flow
7.5
originality
7
listenability
9
my score
8

Finally. After a decade of musical absence, David Bowie has made his way back into the spotlight with The Next Day. When I found out Bowie would be doing another album, I was excited, but also worried about how his age might affect his voice and similar album components. Although one can detect a bit of aging throughout his album, it’s less than I expected and this rather lengthy album (17 songs) delivers. Ranging from heavy guitar and deep drum beats, “Set the World on Fire”, to wahing guitar and saxophone, “Dirty Boys”, to a very simplistic guitar and drum pattern, “Dancing Out in Space”, Bowie does great. Unfortunately none of these songs are as prolific as some of Bowie’s older works, but nevertheless, I like it.

Impression: A wide range of sounds coming from an undetectably aging Bowie that form a fantastic work.

alex s’s review

flow
7
originality
7
listenability
7
my score
6.5

When an artist who has been active since 1962 puts out a new album, regardless of how good it sounds, it is very impressive. That said, David Bowie’s latest album, The Next Day is very impressive. It sounds very Bowie-esque with some very dark and complex lyrics featured in many songs. The album is driven by strong melodies and Bowie’s powerful voice. However, due to this, many songs can seem somewhat repetitive or similar sounding to other songs. Regardless, songs like The Next Day and Dirty Boys are stand outs. Unfortunately, these are the first two songs and afterwards the album fails to produce any more songs that are on the same level. David Bowie does prove with this album that he still has what it takes to make a great album.

Impression: David Bowie adds another album to his already long list of them. The Next Day is nothing game changing, but is very Bowie-esque and shows he still has what it takes to make music.

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