One of the worlds greatest artists has something to say.
David Bowie, one of music’s greatest contributors, and most creative minds, released his latest, and final album on January 8th, 2016. Bowie had been vigorously brawling against cancer’s ever growing grasp on his health. Taking things one day at a time, fighting for every syllable, Bowie defied every crushing blow the universe could throw at him with grace. He was determined to see his final parting gift to the world released, and he did just that. No more than two days after the release of his final contribution, David Bowie passed into the great beyond. Leaving us with his ominous, yet intriguing creation of farewell rhythms, and words of final truth, known as Blackstar. He gave us shock and awe with Ziggy Stardust. Bringing issues to the surface was his unintentional gift right from the beginning.
“I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.” – David Bowie
Being an artist, he had no choice, but to express himself, and the world around him, as he perceived it. It was colorful, joyous, and sometimes dismal. He had a knack for drawing the unexpected picture. In all his years as an artist, that unexpected image has never faded away. Bowie used his last recording opportunity to paint one final masterpiece. A bit dark at moments, but he effortlessly urges beauty to reach out from underneath the darkness.
Right from the beginning Blackstar has a desperate despair looming over head. Each chord seems to draw out emotions of sorrow, relief, and regret. In true Bowie tradition, he forces us to see what we don’t want to see. The vulnerability of our own humanity. Blackstar, the title track, itself flows with a raw sense of desperation. Talking about execution, loneliness, and being at the center of it all. You can really get the sense that this track echoes his most inner thoughts. The song reminisces about a resurrection. The entire track is overpowering with emotion, but that’s not where is ends.
It’s clear throughout the whole album that he knew this was the end. Each track pulls you deeper into the world of David Bowie. You can easily find yourself spinning out of control as you lay sprawled out on the living room floor. Both sound, and emotion dance around as life, and all it’s daily troubles melt into the obscure droning of instruments.
“For about ten years, he took a holiday but I can’t blame him. He’s worked so hard all his life.” Tony Visconti recalls in an interview with The Sun.
Lazarus, my personal favorite tune off Blackstar, seems more like a message in a bottle than just a neat song. Lazarus talks of stardom, struggle, and personal acknowledgment. There’s a quite smile creeping underneath overtones of memoir-like dramatic-isms as Bowie cruises in and out of each beautiful verse. Bowie has stayed true to his fans, and himself, with this wonderfully striking album.
It’s not all slow sadness and sorrow on Blackstar though. ‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore struck me right into a dancing mood with it’s slightly more upbeat tempo and . The opening lyrics grab your attention as Bowie sings about getting a face full of fist. The billowing horns throughout the entire album tell the true story. A fight scene, a man losing his way, a thank you, and a departure. Every instrument oozes raw emotion right alongside David’s heavily colored lyrics. As a musician, David Bowie deserves not just our respect, but our admiration for the hard work and raw creativity he poured into this final release. Right up to the very end of his life he has given us original art that can be appreciated by all walks of life.
A true farewell masterpiece of a lifetime. I believe, Blackstar will go down as one of David’s greatest albums. It’s an emotionally driven, creative piece that raises the listener above his/her normal patterns of thought. David Bowie takes us into his heart, and shows us a different perspective. His insights, messages, and emotional provocativeness run rampant from track to track. He seems to take our emotions by storm, and present his side of what it means to say goodbye. The music community will forever miss David Bowie, but his visual, and musical creations will live on, and continue to influence countless generations to come. David Bowie, thank you.
Article by Joshua J.