iTunes are now streaming David Bowie’s new album ‘The Next Day’ in its entirety up to the release date of March 11 in the UK. The worldwide exclusive appeared four days ago, with the album also available for pre-order. At the beginning of the year, Bowie shock-released new single ‘Where are we now’ through the platform, creating the PR storm of the year so far without a strategy and bypassing any kind of radio support or promo.
Whilst many commentators predicted that this LP would essentially be a follow-up to the ‘Berlin’ Trilogy of the late 70’s, an initial spin on The Gen’s stereo reveals that it isn’t really in the same atmospheric place as those records. In a word, it is simply Bowie, sounding more strange and melodic than he has in the last 30 years or so (not counting ‘Labyrinth’ of course). It isn’t quite ‘Low’ or ‘Heroes’ but to paraphrase that old Catch 22 / Joseph Heller quote, what is?
The cover art also proved to be divisive- a kind of pop art deconstruction of the Heroes sleeve (pictured). The album certainly hasn’t divided rock critics, with The Telegraph calling it “the most compelling comeback in rock history” whilst The Independent, seemingly not wanting to be outdone on the hyperbole stakes, called the LP “the greatest comeback album in rock ‘n’ roll history”.