David Bowie, an artist whose impact on music is immeasurable, passed away Jan. 10, days after the release of his 25th album, Blackstar.
Bowie has amazed the world with his creativity and talent. He experimented with new forms, instrumentation, and aesthetic in each album, and Blackstar is certainly no exception.
The first ballad, “Blackstar,” maintains the right amount of Bowie-esque eccentricity. The nearly 10-minute-long track starts off with a noise that sounds like mumbling, leading listeners into a meditative mood. An electronic beat soothes itself in alongside some saxophone, making it an unlikely, but cohesive mix.
Instruments are key in Blackstar. The saxophone, drums, and string instruments are used together unexpectedly in every ballad.
While the album contains a great deal of instrumental power, the lyrics, too, are particularly exceptional. Bowie sings, with eerie foreshadowing, about the beauty in death saying, “Something happened on the day he died/Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside/Somebody else took his place/And bravely cried/I’m a blackstar. I’m a blackstar.”
After all these years, Bowie never lost his touch. He released 25 albums in his lifetime, proving that he still had the energy and talent to continue creating moving music. Bowie left his mark days before his death, and though we’ve lost a legend, his music continues to offer inspiration and solace.