David Bowie – Blackstar
The recent David Bowie Is... exhibition in Melbourne has revived interest in the man and his music to a level not experienced since the Countdown era. Bowie’s costumes, handwritten lyrics and other personal effects now sit in a Dutch museum, while the man himself continues to look ahead.
Now on January 8, David Bowie's 69th birthday, he is gifting us his latest album, Blackstar (stylised as the star symbol, ★ ).
★'s release was preceded by a short film for the title track’s long single, which was originally longer, but had to be cut back to the digital-retailer-friendly duration of 9min 57sec
One of the album's seven tracks is ‘Lazarus', the only song featured in Bowie’s recent stage production of the same name. The show, co-written by Bowie, opened last month in New York to critical acclaim. The song was performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert by Dexter actor Michael C. Hall.
Two of the songs - ‘Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)’ and '‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore' - were originally released alongside Bowie’s 2014 Best Of album Nothing Has Changed. The re-recordings for ★ replace Bowie’s original sax parts with ones performed by Donny McCaslin.
★ on a whole is a challenging listen, combining art rock and experimental jazz. But Bowie is a master of re-invention and this new chapter has us just as excited as the previous one.
Catch ★ playing all next week on Double J.