Some artists have a great successful career the first time around but when they come back to make an album years on it doesn’t sound quite as well and listeners are left yearning for the glory days of the past. Not so with David Bowie whose 2013 offering The Next Day when played alongside his older studio albums all at least ten years old sounds just as authentic and wonderful. What makes this album so amazing is that Bowie stuck to what he knew how to do brilliantly and didn’t try to conform to contemporary musical trends. Then again when did David Bowie ever conform? and we all love him all the more for that fact.
Let’s look at each track individually:
The Next Day
From the title opening track you know that this is going to be a great piece of work. It is assured, thundering perfection. The instrumentals are invigorating and it is an epic start.
The flow into the chorus on this track is brilliantly constructed and the intro is very unique. Bowie’s vocal is very storytelling-esque. The instrumentals have a very funky rock feel to it.
The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
One of my two favourite tracks on the album. I also love the video because the amazing Andreja Pejic is in it. It’s a brilliant video starring Bowie and Pejic as well as Tilda Swinton and Saskia de Brauw. What a cast, eh? The song itself is very catchy and layered in meaning. It’s uplifting and meaningful with great lyrics. Endlessly-playable.
Love Is Lost
Emotionally-rich ballad with beautiful instrumentals that flow wonderfully.
Where Are We Now?
This ballad shows the excellent narrative of Bowie’s vocal. It is a poetic, heartfelt and raw vocal delivery. Effective and hypnotizing.
I love the intro to this song and how cohesive the instrumentals are. It is assured and layered and Bowie’s vocal as always is amazing.
If You Can See Me
Dynamic and effortless this song is a strident listen from start to finish. Bowie is singing notes very quickly and I personally don’t know how he keeps up with it because I certainly can’t keep up with the notes when I’m trying to sing along. Trying been the object word in my case so good on him for that.
I’d Rather Be High
A very laid-back number. It feels like a jamming session which is wonderful. Delightful vocal and instrumentals throughout with skillful sensitivity and a wonderful hook to remember.
Boss of Me (Bowie, Gerry Leonard)
This is my other favourite song on the album. Another endlessly-playable track with a great chorus. Great hook. The narrative in Bowie’s vocal is brilliant. I love how all the parts of the song just seamlessly flow into each other. This David Bowie and Gerry Leonard composition is incredible.
Dancing Out in Space
Catchy with a great hook. Stunning flow from section to section. Strong and compact and the chorus is very memorable.
How Does the Grass Grow? (Bowie, Jerry Lordan)
Laid-back instrumentals flow into thunderous instrumentals. The vocal combinations have a very old school rock feel to them in this David Bowie/Jerry Lordan track. Focused and refined.
(You Will) Set the World On Fire
The intro to this track is a great slab of thunderous rock. This is my second favourite track on the album to The Stars (Are Out Tonight) and Boss of Me. The lyrics are great and the chorus is very memorable. Bowie’s vocal is stunning, edgy and narrative-like.
You Feel So Lonely You Could Die
Beautiful and poignant, this number is amazing, textured and emotional.
Dramatic intro that has a very experimental and ethereal quality. Bowie’s haunting vocal over these instrumentals sounds glorious. Hauntingly beautiful with a mesmerizing, mythical and musical quality. Bowie’s vocal has a narrative vibe and draws you completely into the song.
A lighter track than many of the other numbers it has a very sunny, fun feel to it and a bit of a folk feel. Stunning track.
Stunning instrumentals. Glorious sound storming into your ears.
I’ll Take You There (Bowie, Leonard)
The second of the David Bowie/Gerry Leonard compositions is a delightful closing track to the album. It is masterful and refined rock ‘n’ roll and is thrilling and polished.