David Bowie

The Next Day

> > Mar 11 2013

David Bowie - The Next Day
By Stephen CarlickNot even David Bowie himself makes a secret of the fact that The Next Day makes no effort to tread new territory; just look at the album art, whose white square, rather than fully eclipsing the Heroes cover, instead evinces the impossibility of obscuring and fully transcending a musical past so decorated with beloved and acclaimed albums. Rather than fight it, The Next Day borrows heavily from his "Berlin" trilogy and, especially, the follow-up LP, Scary Monsters. The album's highlights — "Dirty Boys," "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)," "If You Can See Me" — bear all the sonic trademarks of his late-'70s work: the hollowed-out, metallic guitar tones, the repetitive phrasing, and the vocal layering that makes his voice sound like a full chorus. Given the amount of ground he's covered so far in his almost 50-year career, a few re-treads are inevitable — are even sort of welcome — but you can still tell when Bowie's heart is in something or not, and the difference between tracks here can be staggering. Where Bowie pours audible feeling into songs like the aforementioned "Stars" and gorgeous closer "Heat," he sounds utterly ambivalent on the mediocre "I'd Rather Be High" and Bowie-by-numbers track "Dancing Out in Space." The Next Day is a good latter-day Bowie record, worthy of at least a few listens, but since it's so evocative of his earlier, better work there's little reason not to put on Scary Monsters or Heroes instead. At the very least, it'll save you from The Next Day's lyrics.
Pop & Rock RSS
Mailing List
Google Bookmarks
That has got to be one of the WORST sleeves ever....what was he thinking?
1 Reply
View Conversation
Actually, I think the packaging is awesome. As for the review, I don't think the reviewer has given it a fair shake. It is truly one of Bowie's best in a long time. I would give it a 10.
Start Conversation
It's difficult to find the value in critical reviews of art - regardless of whether they represent your own feelings on a particular piece or stand in stark contrast - but, a music review expressing disinterest in an artist is almost in fathomable. Now, consider that the artist is the godfather of artistic integrity in modern rock music, and you've essentially eliminated yourself from serious contention for authentic assessment. Might as well have had the immeasurably talented Justin Timberlake bumble through feigned adoration for a rock legend or the equally useless "it's boring" critique offered by another tween twit with a keyboard and a penchant for Lady Gaga. In short, reviews that demonstrate a lack of appreciation for the actual value that an artist has offered the world, are infinitely less credible than the fanboys who maintain zero objectivity when professing their unrelenting dedication to hero worship. It must take a certain degree of arrogance to critique artists of Bowie's calibre, but I can't even imagine what depth of self-righteousness is required to do so without some semblance of justice.
Start Conversation
Keep me logged in
Prove You Are Not a Robot
To remove this step go back and login.

Pop & Rock Highlights

This Week's Pop & Rock

Recent Pop & Rock


Most Popular Stories

  1. The Once - MUSIC / VIDEO: The Once "We Are All Running" (video)
  2. The Black Dahlia Murder - 'Grind 'Em All' (EP stream)MUSIC / VIDEO: The Black Dahlia Murder 'Grind 'Em All' (EP stream)
  3. Smashing Pumpkins Selling NEWS: Smashing Pumpkins Selling "Fuck You Anderson Cooper" Shirts

Latest Issue: Nov 14 Issue