27 David Bowie: Blackstar




Aw, dude, so many people died in 2016, yeah??


I mean, how many fatalities were there in Haiti because of Hurricaine Mathew? At least 500, but some people put the death rate at closer to 1000!


Aw man, and the Syrian civil war, yeah?! About 470’000 people have died in that! 2016 was, like, such a bad year for deaths!


Aw, dude, and the illegal Saudi Arabian intervention in Yemen! Which Britain is partly funding and yet barely reporting on it at all! The UN reports that there’s been over 10’000 deaths there, including 3’799 civilians! Man, 2016 sucked!!


What’s that…?

Oh, you weren’t talking about real deaths, just that a lot of people that you used to like when you were a teenager have died…


Erm, yeah, I suppose it was really sad when Gene Wilder died…


OK: ‘Blackstar’:

It’s only really fun- some would say at all necessary – to write responses to albums that in some way challenge the consensual opinion, or analyse why exactly so many people are wrong about something



Or, occasionally, just talk about Brexit or Trump for 500 words


I thought the response to Bowie’s last album- 2013’s banal and uninspired ‘New Day’- was ridiculously exaggerated and undeserved, and suggested in my 2015 yearly review that he was only nominated for the Mercury Prize by virtue of not being dead yet



Bowie really showed me with ‘Blackstar’, not only by releasing an extraordinary album that absolutely deserves the high praise lavished over it, but by dying as well. Well played, Bowie, well played…


It’s difficult for me to respond to the record, as my default setting as a writer is snarky condescension, and I find critiquing any album difficult if there’s no opportunity at all to lay out exactly why it is that I’m better than a certain group of people




Releasing the 9:55 title track as his comeback single was a move of esoteric genius


I could say how the context surrounding the album may have swayed more people into naming it album of the year, and perhaps if I had such an emotional tie to Bowie’s past I’d also find the record overwhelmingly poignant. But if I were to call people out for that, I’d be pretty much saying that people only like the record because of their emotional response to it, which is the only reason anyone likes anything


Apart from this list, which as you have seen is based on a complex mathematical points system





Even without the context, ‘Blackstar’ is an amazing record, notably brilliant even when placed alongside contemporary releases or the highlights of Bowie’s back catalogue such as ‘Low’, ‘Low’, or even ‘Low’


‘Low’ is the only David Bowie album I own





There’s nothing I can write about this album that’s not already been said, only to confirm that the praise is actually vindicated, when it’s usually so unjustified whenever an aged rock star releases a new record that isn’t complete shit



Metacritic: +87

Oooooh, I thought we’d get our first 90+ album

Length: 40 minutes +6

Number of AMAZING songs: 1 (+10)

…But Are All the Rest of the Songs Kinda Amazing Anyway?

Yeah, but there’s maybe one or two tracks that aren’t superb


Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukulele? No -1

Total: 465


5 thoughts on “27 David Bowie: Blackstar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s