Saturday, April 13, 2013

Guest post- "David Bowie: Should He Have Bothered?"

Hey everyone, enjoy this post from guest blogger Brynn Alexander:

When I heard that living music legend David Bowie was coming out of retirement (or whatever it was) to release his first studio album in a decade, I have to admit, my first question was not "when?" but "why?" Yes, I know, he was the bomb back in the day, and talent like that never goes stale and blah blah blah, but... there are lots of iconic musicians that keep plodding on past their prime, doing nothing but making fans wish they'd quit while they were ahead. There's nothing like watching someone who once was great, releasing horrible album after horrible album, trying to make us like them again. It's just so desperate. And when the preview video came out for the single "Where Are We Now?", I wasn't nearly as impressed as all the hardcore fans were in the YouTube comments. Sure, it was a skillfully crafted song, but in the end it was basically just a slightly sad, nostalgic ballad. Yawn. I wasn't looking forward to hearing the rest of the songs. So imagine my delighted surprise when the album, The Next Day, was finally released, and I discovered that for some reason, the worst song in the collection was chosen to be the lead single. The rest of the album is miles better than "Where Are We Now?", and from the first beats of the opening title track, I knew that yes, there was some point to Bowie going back into the studio to make this album. This is more than just the ramblings of an aging glam popper; it's a set of songs worthy of sitting on the same shelf alongside Bowie's best vintage works. He's vibrant, he's energetic, but best of all, he's proven that he's still relevant. This is an album that's not just for the older crowd; I can totally see how a new generation of music lovers (though perhaps not the Bieber-adoring tweens) could easily get drawn into Bowie's spell. In fact, a young friend of mine mentioned The Next Day to me recently, asking if I'd heard it yet. I had no idea she even liked Bowie, and it turns out she didn't - he only ended up on her radar because of this latest release. Bowie has a strong promotional team, and so far they've made all the right moves - keeping the album secret until very late in the game, releasing the first single on YouTube, and so forth. With a bit of creative social media promo, this could turn into the surprise hit of the year. The songs are definitely there, and if you dismissed New Bowie after "Where Are We Now?", I urge you to give him a second chance and try out some of the other songs on the album. You won't be disappointed.

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