Even with the artists I love the most – and Bowie is right up there, 2nd only to The Beatles – there comes a weariness as the artist grows older, less relevant, and each release becomes less special, more of a retread – until you want to shout, STOP! YOU’RE RUINING YOUR LEGACY. It’s certainly been true for McCartney for a very, very long time. And even when The Stones put out a half decent effort (like their recent single), you realise it’s only tolerable because it’s a pretty good impression of what they sounded like when they were good.
So maybe it’s just that Bowie’s been away for a long time, and the rumours that he was seriously ill made him all worried, and we’re just so glad that he’s back, but my god if he hasn’t just gone and released an absolute humdinger of a new single. Melancholy, and drenched in the weariness of old age, he explicitly sings about Berlin, calling to mind his Heroes/Low era – but now he sounds tired of it all. And that crack in his voice that age has given him – it’s almost heartbreaking.
I know you were all a little new to Bowie, but that’s changed now right? So what do you think? Talking of which, I should recommend some more of his wonderful back catalogue to you. In the meantime, enjoy this new slice of Dave.
Nostalgia: it ain’t what is used to be.