Just as the free world is seemingly at its most bleak, Ascended Master and dabbler musician David Bowie sends earthlings a new transmission named Blackstar. Much to the elation of the Internet and as he’s always done, David Bowie puts to bed the notion that pop music is just some lowbrow fetish.
It didn’t take long for the newly released video of the title track “★” (“Blackstar”) to go viral, with well over 1 million views in two days, setting off a slew of comment thread brushfires across the digiscape.
“★” is an eerie space opera that trips from forlorn ancient astronauts deep in the cosmos to terrestrial-bound she-pagans with crucified scarecrows in their fields. Bowie’s familiar, hypnotic voice dips under and over a well-produced hopscotch of glam pop and doom jazz, framed with vivid cinematography from director Johan Renck and packed with enough esoteric symbolism to make Alex Jones’ head explode.
With iconic peers like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits still putting out new work and damning retirement, we shouldn’t be surprised to still be hearing from the man who brought us “Let’s Dance” (probably one of the most sampled pop songs out there). There’s just something way more ethereal about the dude, and right as critics figured The Next Day for his “twilight masterpiece” (New York Times) and we were set to give him his third or fourth lifetime achievement award, David Bowie boldly reminds us to never underestimate his output. When David Bowie speaks (or sings), we still listen, as if he’s channeling forgotten primeval wisdom from behind those heterochromic eyes of his.
Even the cult of Miley has a long way to go before it eclipses the cult of Ziggy.
For those of you who remember when “Space Oddity” hit the airwaves, I salute you. To those of you who grew up with David Bowie as Troll King, nothing is really too weird, is it? (We’re just happy to see weird when it comes around.) And to those of you who maybe know David Bowie as the walk-off judge in Zoolander, you’ve got some acquainting with The Man Who Sold The World to do. The good news is there’s over two dozen studio albums to dissect while you dance alone in your room playing dress-up and wearing makeup (not that I can relate or anything).
The video is no doubt striking, and while it may be hard to ignore the bloggers trying to draw parallels to the Necronomicon, it’s best to just enjoy the ride—while feigning patience for the rest of the album.
Bowie’s new LP Blackstar will release January 8th, 2016, which is also his 69th birthday. Not a bad way to ring in the New Year.