David Bowie releases farewell album “Blackstar”
By Dylan Randolph, Staff Editor
Although it’s been 2016 for less than two months, it has not been a good year for entertainment fans around the world. With many famous musicians and actors dying within the first month, the passing of the music legend David Bowie came as one of the biggest shocks. The start of the year has been pretty grim, but the former legend may have foreseen this event coming sooner rather than later with the release of his last album “Blackstar” on Jan. 8.
David Bowie’s latest album came as a huge shock to fans around the world, yet it topped the charts within its first week on iTunes. Very few people aside from Bowie’s inner circle knew that Bowie was even in the recording studio preparing the soundtrack.
Bowie went on a musical hiatus after releasing “Next Day” in 2013 which made the release of “Blackstar” on his birthday even more surprising. Even without much speculation around the album, it seemed that “Blackstar” was going to be a huge hit.
Although most of the public did not know of Bowie’s battle with cancer, it seemed that he knew that his time on earth may be coming to a close. Just two days after he released this album, he lost his battle making “Blackstar” his farewell album.
Upon listening to the soundtrack, it is clear that this album could have been David Bowie’s swan song. On the second track of the album called “Lazarus,” Bowie’s first words are “Look up here, I’m in Heaven, I’ve got scars that can’t be seen.” While it is unclear whether this was a message to his fans warning about his closing hours, or just lyrics written for the album, it is obvious that this album was not going to be very upbeat.
Listening to the album, one could hear familiar tones of sorrow throughout. Some found this album to be very slow and mournful. However, the lyrics throughout the album were deep and meaningful; in fact, some believe that they showed a deeper, softer-side of Bowie.
For instance, in the song “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)” Bowie says “Sue, the clinic called, the x-ray’s fine, I brought you home, I just said home.” It is almost as if Bowie is confessing the wrongs and lies he has told this woman. In fact, at one point Bowie even says “Good-bye Sue” in order to finally have closure over everything they have gone through.
However, on the soundtrack “Dollar Days” it seems as if Bowie is saying his final goodbyes as well as acknowledging his successes; Bowie utters “If I never see the English evergreens it’s nothing to me, nothing to see.” Here it sounds as if Bowie is saying before he passes he wants to see all of the thing he hasn’t before, but if his time comes before he can, then he has seen so much in his life that he will have no regrets.
Although “Blackstar” was understandably mournful, overall it was melancholy and difficult to listen to. Most of the tracks were slow and compared to Bowie’s previous rock sound, they were boring. The album had a lot of potential to be great, and if Bowie would have made it more upbeat, it may have been a better record. Instead, it came out sounding like an album a misunderstood teenager would listen to in the late hours of the night.There is no doubt that Bowie left his mark on the world through his musical genius. “Blackstar” may have been the last album released before Bowie’s passing, but his legacy is what any music lover will remember.