It’s hard to put all my feelings about this into one paragraph (it’s still more than 100 words) but I love this album. Good job Bowie.
Deep into the night on January 10th 2016, I was listening to Kanye West single “Real Friends,” about to go to bed. My attention for the weekend had been focused on the brilliant new David Bowie record. With the help of jazz musicians Donny McCaslin, Ben Mondor, and Mark Guiliana (among others), Bowie had crafted what he referred to as his version of Kendrick Lamar’s jazz induced Hip hop. With the epic title track, Blackstar, Bowie once again managed to apply his songwriting style to a whole new image and aesthetic. I was especially taken aback by the surplus of McCaslin solos and interesting electro-jazz beats throughout the piece. I was also intrigued by the way Bowie applied his modern jazz sounds to some of his classic chord progressions. On January 10th, one little update from Consequence of Sound changed my whole idea of what this record meant. Bowie had written his goodbye. The Starman had supernova-ed in a departure only Bowie could have possibly pulled off. Lazarus had been changed from the dark look at Bowie’s mortality into his assent into another place.
“Look up here, I’m in Heaven”