Blackstar | David Bowie


Nitish Pahwa

Ladies and gentlemen, David Bowie is back yet again. After five decades in the music industry and several classic albums under his belt, one of the most iconic artists of our time continues his career deep into the twenty-first century.

Bowie released this song as the lead single for his upcoming album, Blackstar, due for release on his 69th birthday, January 8, 2016. According to Bowie’s producer, Tony Visconti, Blackstar will attempt to reach new heights in Bowie’s avant-garde musicality. Working with local New York jazz musicians and citing influences from Can to Death Grips (!), Bowie seems to be embracing yet another new sound on this new record. Considering how well-known he is for pioneering several different styles of music, it is impressive to see this veteran continue to push his creative boundaries.

“Blackstar”, just like any of Bowie’s best songs, is beautifully strange. There is just so much going on: a droning orchestra, haunting vocal layers, erratic drumbeats, a free-wailing saxophone, a jazz section that pops up almost out of nowhere, and extremely cryptic lyrics throughout. At ten minutes, it is lengthy for a typical single; however, this song keeps you spellbound throughout.

“Blackstar” is proof that Bowie has not lost any of his innovative luster, and I will be eagerly anticipating his new album come the new year.