This week, we learned of the death of a true icon when it was announced that David Bowie had passed away from Cancer at the age of 69 on January 10, 2016. On January 8, 2016, David Bowie released what would ultimately be his 26TH and final record in Blackstar. One of the album’s producers has said that Bowie was inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly album as well as groups like Boards Of Canada and Death Grip. The album featured Donnie McCaslin (Flute, Saxophone, Woodwinds), Ben Monder (Guitar), Jason Lindner (Keys), Tim Lefebvre (Bass), Mark Guiliana (Drums), and of course David Bowie on vocals, acoustic guitar, and the fender guitar on a track. I do not have the album sales to date or what position the album is in because it’s still a tad bit early, but they are projecting it to sell over 130,000 in it’s first week. According to another report I read, the album is sold out on Amazon (read it here). It’s debatable as to whether his death spiked the sales up or not, but there is no denying the man’s genius when it came to music.
1. Blackstar– The title track is kind of trippy in nature as it’s called a Jazztronic track where it’s a marriage of jazz and electronic music. Bowie was and always is ahead of his time. There are a lot of mixtures of styles in this nine minute track that was originally 11 minutes long. 5/5
2. Tis a Pity She Was a Whore– The track originally appeared on David’s last album The Next Day, but was re-recorded with Donnie McCaslin playing the sax on the track. That track is pretty upbeat with some experimental sounds thrown in. 5/5
3. Lazarus– The album was meant to be a self-epitaph from Bowie according to one of the producers. The track is pretty mellow in sound and tempo compared to the previous tracks, but definitely a favorite of mine on the album. 5/5
4. Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)– This was the other track on the album that was re-recorded with a new sax part from McClasin. 5/5
5. Girl Loves Me– Another track on the album that is eerie in sound and kind of cool at the same time with some amazing string arrangements at times with a cool bass line as well. 5/5
6. Dollar Days- Another amazing song with a great piano intro. The song is very melanchaloic in the mood, but I love it. 5/5
7. I Can’t Give Everything Away– This is the last song on the record and it’s heavy on keys as well as the electronic side of it. 5/5
My Final Thoughts– It’s sad to know that this is it from David Bowie, but we were left with a present and a whole catalog of music to enjoy. The album definitely is a far cry from pop music for Bowie as he experiments on the album and thank God he did. I am giving the album five stars out of five for a final grade.