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Overstreet

David Bowie - Blackstar (2016)

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Many decades? I'm thinking maybe two. Feels like the sequel to Outside that I've been waiting for, and the Milton's Satan show that Heathen wanted to be.

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Many decades? I'm thinking maybe two. Feels like the sequel to Outside that I've been waiting for, and the Milton's Satan show that Heathen wanted to be.

I'll take "Blackstar" over any single track on Outside, but only by a hair. Outside is definitely the standout Bowie album of the last thirty years.

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"Blackstar" is more ambitious, but "Heart's Filthy Lesson," "No Control," and "I Have Not Been to Oxford Town" are just so sing-able. I'd also include "Sunday" from Heathen on any Bowie best-of. 

Edited by Overstreet

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For me, "Slip Away" is the highlight of Heathen. That said, I dig Reality's "Bring Me the Disco King" more than any track from Heathen, even if it is a much weaker album overall.

In addition to "Blackstar," I was very impressed by Bowie's "Sue."

Edited by Ryan H.

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Darren H   

I've been listening to David Bowie for nearly 35 years (anyone else remember his "farewell" Sound & Vision tour in 1990?), and I'm sure I haven't listened to any of his albums as much as I've listened to The Next Day. So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to the new one.

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NBooth   

Somehow, I never got around to listening to Bowie's last album (at least, I don't think I did), but I'm listening to this one now on Spotify. I like it quite a bit.

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12 hours ago, NBooth said:

Somehow, I never got around to listening to Bowie's last album (at least, I don't think I did), but I'm listening to this one now on Spotify. I like it quite a bit.

I liked The Next Day quite a bit, but it was certainly par for the course for late-period Bowie, just a little more consistent in quality than most of the albums released during the past few decades. If I were to rank the albums, it would sit comfortably alongside Heathen.

Blackstar picks up where The Next Day left off ("Heat," a riff on Scott Walker circa Climate of Hunter), but is a much stronger, more evocative album overall.

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NBooth   

Man. He certainly knew how to make an exit.  Rest in peace, indeed. 

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Tyler   

The video for "Lazarus" just went up at the end of last week. As people all over the internet are pointing out, it can easily be seen as a farewell message. 

 

 

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Iman, Bowie's wife, posted these words: "Rise. The struggle is real, but so is God."

 

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My thoughts on Bowie:

Whatever one thinks of aging, later Bowie’s musical or artistic output, one never gets the idea he was phoning anything in. He went down fighting, engaging, creating. As of this writing, he is on pace to land his first #1 album with Blackstar, a week after his death.

It’s OK to mourn this celebrity death, but I think a celebration is more in order - someone who fought through life and failure - professional, personal and moral - to keep creating, keep engaging and keep living.

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Here is one of the most revealing interviews with Bowie that I've read regarding his faith, his early impressions of Christianity, and his spiritual search.

It's remarkable, the overlap with Bono: parents divided between Catholicism and Protestantism, and a childhood caught in the conflict between them. And yet, such different responses to that. The devastating consequences of growing up with an experience of Christianity that makes it a place of confusion and fear about the threat of hell cannot be overestimated.

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Attica   
4 hours ago, Overstreet said:

The devastating consequences of growing up with an experience of Christianity that makes it a place of confusion and fear about the threat of hell cannot be overestimated.


Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse From The Womb To The Tomb

 

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Attica   

The other day I opened facebook to find that I had been tagged into a debate where one of the debaters was arguing that Bowie's music promoted witchcraft and the movie Labyrinth was pure witchcraft, and besides, all fantasy films are evil.  Sheesh.

But meanwhile, I've also had those in my facebook feed linking to articles saying that he had sincerely come to God in his last days.  I'm inclined to believe that side of the story.  But of course, I want to believe that side of the story.  So.  But really, we can speculate all we want.  It's his business.

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Joel C   
On January 17, 2016 at 8:37 PM, Overstreet said:

This article was almost inevitable: David Bowie's Blackstar is a Satanic mockery of Jesus, apparently.

Well, I'm certainly not willing to draw such exact lines as this author does. But even as someone who deeply respects Bowie's musicality and songwriting, I guess I don't understand why being discerning about Bowie's use of imagery and symbolism is wrong. As someone who believes very strongly in the existence of sacramental potential in everything, it's hard for me to feel that this isn't in some way an outworking of Bowie's inner world. Perhaps the author of the article you cited went too far in drawing conclusions, but is it really so hard to recognize, throughout the video, either symbols associated with darkness, or the distortion of other symbols associated with light? And if those devices are recognized, why is it not legitimate to express a sincere sense of being disturbed by those images? 

This is certainly not meant to either affirm the thesis of the author you cited, nor demean Bowie's legacy as one of the great songsters of our time. And yet, I wonder if sometimes in music, the occult is simply the occult, and feeling upset or disturbed is a completely appropriate response. 

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