Just two days before his death, David Bowie released his final album, “Blackstar.” Having over 20 albums, Bowie has been an icon for quite some time. Known for songs such as “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” and “Let’s Dance,” as well as his alter egos “Ziggy Stardust” and “The Thin White Duke,” Bowie could have been described as a Rock/Glam Rock artist as well as a strong performer. However, his new album differs from his usual style, providing a more eerie and disturbing take on his encounters with death.
When Rolling Stone asked Bowie’s producer Tony Visconti about the genre of this album, he explained that Bowie and his team were inspired by how Kendrick Lamar had recently released an album that wasn’t exclusively hip hop. “He threw everything on there, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll.”
Although David Bowie’s vocals are still strong, the songs don’t focus on the singing itself. Instead, the album highlights the odd lyrics, which can be hard to define. The tune of each song is more difficult to find, especially when the music itself seems to be just as loud as Bowie’s voice. If you were anticipating a classic David Bowie song to sing in the shower, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.
After researching the lyrics and meanings behind each song, it’s clear to see that this album was a way for Bowie to cope with his death. Songs such as “Blackstar,” and “Lazarus,” all hint towards death and his idea of what it’s like.
Some creepy coincidences even occurred when it came to his time of death and the lyrics to “Girl Loves Me” the song asks multiple times “Where […] did Monday go?” and David Bowie died on a Sunday, meaning he never got to see Monday again. In this same song, Bowie decided to use Polari, a British slang language, for half the lyrics, making it unique but confusing for listeners.
When Bowie’s “Blackstar” music video released on November 19, 2015, it left quite a lot of viewers disturbed. The video includes lots of unsettling features, including black buttons masking Bowie’s eyes, three people nailed to a cross, and repeated spastic movements from the extras. Different conspiracy theories say the video refers to the Bible, different worlds and even ISIS.
The new album may be considered a gift to Bowie’s fans throughout the years. It is definitely an album that can be appreciated, despite its unusual (and slightly disturbing) vibes, melodies and meanings. Fans will be pleased that they get one last taste of Bowie’s music. Although not personally my style, some may say it’s “extraordinary.”
“Blackstar” has been striking much success, being Bowie’s first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. The album features seven songs, all of which are reaching the top charts worldwide.
David Bowie’s new and final album “Blackstar,” is the darkest, deepest, most original set of music yet. With lots of symbolism, death references and new sounds, it seems to be the perfect way for Bowie to bid his goodbye. Despite his death, the music legend’s new album will certainly be remembered forever.
2. “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore”
4. “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)”
5. “Girl Loves Me”
6. “Dollar Days”
7. “I Can’t Give Everything Away”