Upon first listen I felt as thought this new Bowie album was an extension of his time spent in Berlin with Iggy Pop. In fact, The Next Day sounds as though Bowie had stayed on in the studio after completing the recording sessions to Lodger in 1979 and laid down the template for what he might sound like 34 years later in 2013 whilst he was still at his creative peek in the seventies.
“The Next Day” resonates with a filthy, dirty vibe as if it has been dragged out of the gutter in New York and taken to Berlin to be cleaned up. As the opening riffs play out on the title track to introduce us to Bowie’s first studio album in 10 years you get the impression this is a man who once more has something to say about the world we live in.
Then comes “Dirty Boys” which could have easily felt at home on Iggy Pop’s “The Idiot” with its lingering stench of Sister Midnight all over it. There is a flow to this album that will surprise many listeners the first time over. You find your head swaying and feet tapping as the catchy “The Stars (are out tonight)” bangs into your ear drums before a major highlight of the album, “Valentines Day” keeps you up on a high. One expects “Valentines Day” to be the next single if there is any justice in this world.
One track that sits up for special mention is “Love Is Lost” which, may very well have been exactly the sound Bowie wanted to capture in 1987 on his “Never Let Me Down” album. Despite a few shimmering highlights the decade that we fondly remember as the eighties was not as kind to Bowie as it could have been. There are many redeeming features on “The Next Day” and “Love Is Lost” is most certainly one of them.
Closing the album after an eventful and emotional first listen is the Scott Walker influenced “Heat”. After five decades in the public spotlight Bowie still manages to dip his hat to another highly undervalued artist in Walker. What’s more Bowie is still, after all these years delivering albums that leave you hungry for more.
Many artists of today could only dream of releasing an album of this sublime quality. What’s more, at the age of 66 David Bowie is still showing us why he was always been held in such high esteem by his peers.
What you get with “The Next Day” is a man who is well and truly back to the peek of his powers. This album is going to shoot straight to number one in many countries and deservedly so it should. There is old wave, there is new wave…..and then, friends, there is David Bowie!