Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Bowie returns after a decade of silence

By Alejandro Rodriguez

KRHC Station Manager


It has been 10 years since David Bowie released any new material and with 24 studio albums under his belt, many of his fans and those in the media believed that Bowie had quietly retired. This all changed on Bowie’s 66th birthday when it was unexpectedly announced that he would be releasing a new album called The Next Day. Fans finally had the chance to receive new content from Bowie, but would it be worth the wait?

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As anyone who listens to The Next Day will notice, it sounds very much like a Rock album. Something I was a bit surprised to hear from Bowie as he often tries to experiment with new genres of music. I was half expecting to hear some odd attempt at Dubstep, as if Bowie wanted to prove to my generation that he was still hip. However, everything on The Next Day sounds like it could have been recorded in the 70s, it’s kind of a trip (in a good way).

Of course it’s never easy for a Classic Rock artist to return to the spotlight, many artists in Bowie’s position would have rather played it safe and not even release any new music for fear of alienating old fans. However, most artists are not like Bowie. (There’s a reason the media has dubbed him a musical chameleon.)

While it has been years since Bowie released anything new, it doesn’t seem like he forgot how to write music during his break with the music industry. Songs like the title track, “Valentine’s Day”, and “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” are among the best songs on the album, with “Valentine’s Day” winning the award for “Nicest Sounding Song with a Dark Undertone”.

Not everything is top notch with The Next Day. The final track, “Heat”, just seems to go on and on forever. Some albums give you a great final track, a cherry on top of a great experience. That’s not the case with The Next Day. “Heat” doesn’t deliver on that and the end seems like sort of a let down to what was otherwise a really good album.

The only other complaint I have with the album is with the cover art. Bowie has a good track record of releasing albums with iconic and recognizable cover art, but with The Next Day it feels like he could have done a lot better than putting a post-it-note on his face from the Heroes album cover and having Heroes scribbled out. Maybe I was expecting too much? Maybe it’s too minimalist for it’s own good? Either way it’s not his best album cover.

While The Next Day isn’t an instant classic like The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars or Diamond Dogs, it is an album that can be appreciated more justifiably after multiple listens. A lot has changed in the music industry since Bowie last released an album, but no matter how big artists like One Direction and Skrillex become, Bowie will stay timeless.

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