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David Bowie immortalizes his final farewell

9.4

Although the fire of David Bowie’s life has mournfully passed away, the sparks from his new album “Blackstar” shine brighter than ever.

The album topped the billboard within a week in both the United States and United Kingdom. Released just two days prior to Bowie’s passing, “Blackstar” serves as a perfect example of the time-worn artist’s ingenuity and complexity.

The first song, “Blackstar,” begins with a chilling, unsettling beat. Bowie’s shaky voice evokes a sense of insanity and insecurity and sounds as if it is coming straight from the throats of the mentally deranged. Yet, hidden beneath his voice is a plea for mercy from the grasp of death. The supplemental music video is hypnotic–the ten surreal minutes of seizure-like dancing, convulsing scarecrows and women performing rituals with a gemmed skull truly bring the song to life.

“Lazarus,” the second track in the album, serves as a continuation of the symbolic story told in “Blackstar.” The song begins with the gentle strumming of the guitar and shifts towards jazzy, spirited riffs. Bowie’s voice brims with emotion in “Lazarus,” and his rough vocals express uncertainty and sorrow as his face contorts in anguish.

“Blackstar” and “Lazarus” express the emotional stress of death Bowie himself endured months prior to his passing. The first song symbolizes Bowie’s last wish to carry on his legacy after death before he succumbs to paranoia. In the next song, Bowie lies waiting on a hospital bed as an elderly woman, who represents his imminent doom, gradually reaches out to him.

Every song in the album is a masterpiece on its own; each has a story to tell and an enigma to decipher. With its progressive and experimental rock origins, “Sue” is another song that tells a story about Bowie’s mistakes in his life. “Dollar Days” begins with a smooth, jazzy saxophone intro that is followed by Bowie’s passionate, fluid voice about the “dying” days to come.

The final song, “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” packs an especially emotional punch. The song sounds more upbeat and thrilling, but the lyrics make it a definite tearjerker for long-time fans. In his raspy and Sinatra-inspired voice, Bowie claims that he “can’t give everything away” as a last goodbye.

If Bowie’s intention behind this album was to leave one ultimate impression, he definitely left a memorable one. David Bowie’s “Blackstar” will leave any audience in awe. It inspires all to discover his complexity and dig deeper into his imaginative works. Without a doubt, “Blackstar” serves beautifully as the haunting, final legacy of David Bowie’s astounding career.

By Richard Zhang, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of iTunes

The Breakdown


Sounds/Beats
8.9
Voice
9
Lyrics
10
Mood
9.5


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