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David Bowie – The Next Day

Tuesday 23rd April / presented by Mark Neal

Bowie. It's one of those names everyone knows, His music is unavoidable and whether you like it or not you probably know the chorus to a few of his hits or grew up dancing to it in your living room. It's been 10 years since Bowie released "Reality", there was no mention of Bowie in the studio, no leaked single and no over indulgent press spots. Then all of a sudden the new album "The Next Day" was here.

The opening track, which shares the title of the record is both confronting and aggressive, Bowie sounds a little bitter about his successful career. "Here I am, not quite dying, my body left to rot in a hollow tree" he chants, while monstrous drums and screaming guitars build a wall of sound. "Dirty Boys" steps in another direction, channelling swing with roaring saxophone and chirping guitars. I wouldn't blame you for drawing comparisons to "Nick Cave" in the verse. The Highlight of this Record is "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)". Bowie’s voice doesn't show his age, the melody is everything we've come to expect from him, and the recording and instrumentation on this track is immaculate. 

Bowie is a genius in the studio, and after 25 records he would want to be – the guitar and drum tones are stark when they need to be, strong when its appropriate, and the mood that is captured in each song swallows you up. As hard as I tried it's almost impossible to listen to this record without bias – how can someone who brought me "Let's Dance" and "Ashes to Ashes" at a young age do any wrong? However I was still surprised about how rock’n’roll it is. There's no glittered up man on the cover or reference to drug addicted aliens in the title. He has discarded a lot of the floaty feeling tunes for punch and tension, It's almost a straight up rock record. And in my opinion, one of Bowie's best yet. I'm expecting to see this on a few top 5 albums of the year charts in December.

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All live musical performances are included in our podcasts with the express permission of artists, who reserve all other rights in their music. All music used in our podcasts is licensed under an APRA Community Broadcasting license agreement.

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