In the last resounding work of the late great David Bowie, “Blackstar” captures the grandiose of such a cultural icon, yet in typical Bowie fashion, also manages to accomplish this in a reinvented manner. Bowie’s musical roots actually began with the saxophone— starting his first instrument as a pre-teen, it appears that Bowie decided to take a step back to his beginnings and incorporate a prevalent jazz influence into his final record. With tangent streaks of electronic zings mixed with jazzy rhythmic strums, “Blackstar” is a peculiar concoction of tones that only Bowie could pull off.
The record does not provide a linear theme lyrically— deciphering his jumble of meanings yourself compared to reading various theories will likely get you just as close to fully understanding Bowie’s true lyrical intent. But this record does not appear to really be about the lyrics. Technically, “Blackstar” showcases some of his most advanced and nuanced tracks, with a lingering sense of intoxication and gloom.
“I’m a blackstar. I’m not a filmstar. I’m a blackstar. I’m not a popstar,” said Bowie.
The title track is undoubtedly the standout of the album; a ten minute medley of eerie offbeat tones segmented by a second half that slowly transitions into a grisly and melancholic anthem.