February 26, 2013

Bowie: I hope we live forever...

The new David Bowie video, The Stars (Are Out Tonight), appeared suddenly today.  I love how the idea of "doing a Bowie" - launching something unannounced -  has entered the pop culture lexicon ("The Pope did a Bowie and quit today!").

Back to the song and visuals, The Stars (Are Out Tonight) is a chugging rocker that still has a proper pop melody. The video really sends it over: The inevitable meeting on film of Bowie and his doppelganger Tilda Swinton, along with a host of other Bowie-esque skinny models. It's chic, funny, creepy and Bowie himself looks great! This is how to age.

The new album, The Next Day, is out March 11/12. Read first reviews at The Telegraph and The Guardian (that one written by the sharp Alexis Petridis).


Anonymous said...

I appreciate David Bowie as a fashion and gay/bisexual icon, but I could never get into his actual music. This is more of the same to me. He's such a critically acclaimed artist so I guess I must be missing something but I just don't get it. Part of it, I guess is I just don't like the sound of his voice. It's unappealing to me. Actually the only music I like by him is what critics hate, the Let's Dance album with songs like Modern Love and China Girl.
And what's with this is how to age. There's not one way to age. Everyone's different and everyone deals with getting older differently.

xolondon said...

Thanks for commenting. I think critics have warmed to Let's Dance over the years, but def don't love him at his poppiest. I adore his voice, so it's just down to personal preference I suspect. I wonder if you would like the song "Strangers When We Meet" - if you don't know it, check it out!

Your last point: Of course there is not one way to age! If he wants sing show tunes like Rod Stewart, so be it. What I personally admire is the tenacity and lack of sentimentality in his work at this stage of a very long career (although the first single is very "looking back"). This music could be done by a 30 year old OR a 60 year old and I admire that creative outlook. He's not TRYING to be young, nor is he softening his sound. And there is nothing ageist about saying that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response. I'll check out that song you mentioned. I do tend to like songs that are more poppier I guess. David's voice is very deep, I guess I tend to be drawn to voices that are higher and have more range to them.

But I think there are certain forms of music that it's seen as okay for older people to do and the rock that David does is one of those genres. It's always okay for older men to continue doing rock and they aren't criticized as trying to be young. But if you are a female and you've always done dance and electro pop music and you continue doing that, you are criticized as trying to be young and people demand that you go just for ballads and acoustic.

xolondon said...

Rock is very excepting of old men! haha! So much of David's mystique has been how he looks, so it's interesting to see how people respond to him aging.

With female pop divas, for me the issue is are they trying to compete with, like, Rihanna and others, when they're power is well beyond the "body." Madonna can do whatever the hell she wants and that is her brand of feminism, but there is a recent question with her of not letting her wisdom come through in her lyrics. And that's my criticism, more than whether or not her ass is tight. Which it IS LOL