As I'm sure you are all aware, today David Bowie has announced his first album in ten years (on his 66th birthday) which has left many in a state of shock mixed with excitement, myself included. I'm really enjoying the new single but what I'm posting on this specific blog about is the fact that the album - which is called The Next Day and is being released in March - has a cover that is incredibly similar to that of Pet Shop Boys own Elysium.Not only that, but the image that's been doctored is the same one that served as the cover to Heroes which was released in 1977. It'll be interesting to see if career reflection is going to be a theme for The Next Day, it certainly was a strong one for Elysium. A further albeit more tenuous link is also that Where Are We Now? has a music video that uses black and white footage of Berlin, which was also a dominating feature in the music video for the Elysium second single, Leaving. I can't help but wonder if the artwork deliberately took influences from Elysium, but given that there seems to be a lot of mutual respect between Bowie and Pet Shop Boys given their past work together. Also, influencing David Bowie of all people is quite a compliment indeed I would say, so I hope that the influence was deliberate!
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
I'm a good few hours late I know, but there really is only one musical story of note today. On what is today - his 66th birthday - the one and only David Bowie has left his fans with the real birthday present: the unveiling of his new single and announcing his first in album in ten years, which is entitled The Next Day is due for release on March 11th. It's been ten years since his last album so this is a great surprise to say the least! As for the song itself, those who were expecting any hint of an upbeat tone in the track may be bitterly disappointed. For everyone else though, there is much to like about Where Are We Now? It's a mournful ballad that slowly entices you in I think. The use of German words in the second verse harkens back to his Berlin trilogy of albums (with the music video only further emphasizing this). Also, the bridge of the song is one of the most beautiful bridges I've heard in a long time. It's a slow burner in my opinion, and one which I think is a most worthy addition to what is already a fantastic body of work. As for the video, it's certainly a tad creepy in my eyes with the puppets (am I alone in thinking that one of them looks suspiciously like Bjork?) but a further nod to Bowie's Berlin trilogy is evident with the use of black and white footage of Berlin (including a shot of an auto repair shop which is below an apartment he lived in back in the 70s). The final - and most obvious - reference to the past is in the artwork for The Next Day which is an altered picture of the Heroes album cover. The aforementioned album is also one of the Berlin trilogy. The fact that this full album has been recorded in utter secrecy is amazing I think, and although 2013 has only just begun I can't imagine a more surprising (or indeed welcome) comeback than this....... welcome back to one of music's true legends!