This album comes with a white sticker saying 'The Next Day', plastered over the cover-art for Heroes
- yet The Next Day
has far more in common with Scary Monsters
than it does with The Berlin Trilogy.
It's a rare thing with a Bowie album for one track to sound like Scary Monsters
, another like Earthling
, else like Scott Walker circa Climate of Hunter
. Bowie's looking back to the past, but not in a bad way.
Those who rightly swoon over the majesty of lead single "Where Are We Now?" may be disappointed to learn it's atypical of the set as a whole. It does seem like a resigned look at old age, and yes, it's utterly brilliant. Though a lot else on the record is lively and does actually swing - Bowie of 1979 would be proud.
That track, the title track, and "The Stars Are Out Tonight" have all been released as singles in the UK. The first became Bowie's first Top 10 hit since 1993, the latter a hit, though not a big one. The title track has only just been released - it's unlikely to trouble the charts, but does sound for all the world like a Scary Monsters
track, like a sequel, although Bowie's vocal chords show signs of age during the high notes, but at least he goes for them - the song moves along at a fair pace.
"Boss of Me" and "Dirty Boys" is some kind of weird pairing of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits, filtered through Bowie's English sensibility - they're weakest tracks here. Still, "Valentines Day" sounds a bit 'Ziggy Stardust', albeit at a slower pace, "If You Can See Me" like a cross between Earthling
- providing a needed modern edge.
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews