Bowie returns with surprise release, some people’s world implodes, others don’t
Right so the one thing the World needs right now it a new David Bowie track. In certain camps this is the biggest, most pressing thing going on. In others it’s just an old man releasing a long waffly faux-jazz number. I’m probably being harsh on the Thin White Duke, but this doesn’t move me in anyway. The first 30 seconds are interesting, vague skittering drum and bass beats against a wall of feedback and distressed bass, then it doesn’t do anything or go anywhere. When his vocals enter the mix it sounds like Bowie has been listening to a lot of Scott Walker. The difference between this and Scott Walker’s more recent work, is that Walker REALLY pushes the boundaries of what music can be. He looks inside himself and drags out dark and intense ideas and puts them to music. I’m not saying that it’s an easy, or pleasant, listen. It’s not, but you have to respect him for going his own way. This feels slightly pedestrian. “Look at me! Look at me! I’m an ARTIST” it screams “I don’t just write pop songs”.
My main problem with Sue (or in a Season of Crime), is that you can see the sum of its parts too clearly. A bit of Scott Walker, some Vivian Stanshall there, a sprinkle of the Residents, a drop of jazz, a smidge of drum ‘n bass and heavy dose of the avant garde. I’m not saying that I want Bowie to reinvent the wheel every time he has new release but something more polished wouldn’t be a bad idea. As Sue (or in a Season of Crime) is part of a new odds and sods/Greatest Hits album being released next month it makes sense that it’s a little experimental and rough around the edges.
While this is true, over the years Bowie has tried his hand at most genres, I would prefer something more fully formed, rather than something new to help flog a new best of compilation.