David Bowie “Where Are We Now”


Quite a surprise … after 8 years of (almost) silence, David Bowie got back with a bang at his 66th birthday last Tuesday. The news caught me at 7am, just checked Facebook to see: David Bowie is back with an immediate single release, a full service 17 song album “The Next Day” to follow early March. Double check whether this is some April Fool’s joke – easy to proof, the single is already for download at iTunes.

7.15 this is on my iPod, at the end of the day almost 20 listens … something I would have never expected, listen all day to a NEW Bowie tune. And the man knows how to keep a secret … met his Producer Tony Visconti back in summer 2011 at a Kristeen Young gig in London – not a glimpse. Met his bass player Gail Ann Dorsey last summer when she accompanied Lenny Kravitz on tour … no indication that she is in contact with the man at all. Not one sign in world-wide web, only comments about retirement and rumours about health issues. Wow, did not think this would work these days! Well done, David.

However, glad to see Gail Ann and Tony joined forces with Bowie on the new record, just missing (surprisingly) Mike Garson from my personal favorites. Can’t wait to listen to “The Next Day”. But “Where Are We Now” first:

imagesWhat makes this song brilliant obviously is that there is a song at all. Apart from that it is a good song to come back with (although not inventing himself new as one might expect from Bowie). A ballad looking back to Bowie’s Berlin years, quoting places such as “Potsdamer Platz”, the nightclub “Dschungel”, the famous department store “KaDeWe” and “Boese Bruecke” … mood and vocals very much remind me of “hours …”, his 1999 record, in particular the single “Thursday’s Child”. Overall this song would fit very well into Bowie’s better Oeuvre from 1999′s “hours …” (“Survive”, “Something In The Air” via 2002′s “Heathen” (“Slip Away”, “Heathen”) to 2003′s “Reality” (“The Lonliest Guy”). Nothing new, but not the worst recordings to compete with. The main theme of the song – looking back to places from the past and asking oneself where you are now – might not catch the very young, but for those 30+ it might be the soundtrack to a well-known sentiment.

 I did not expect Bowie to come up with such a new sound as he did with the Industrial of 1995′s “Outside” or 1997 “Earthling”‘s Drum&Bass (especially because I do not hear such kind of “new” sound in music these days), so a “new classic” is very welcome these days. Tony Visconti told in an interview that “Where Are We Now” is not the typical sound of the new record, some more “rockers” to expect and some “new Bowie” … glad to hear what we got so far and excited to hear more new tunes. Resumé: Bowie is the one to watch out for in 2013, the man has something to say!