Saturday, January 19, 2013

David Bowie Releases New Single ‘Where Are We Now?’

NEWS ::: David Bowie Releases New Single ‘Where Are We Now?’

Legendary glam-rock pioneer-turned media recluse, David Bowie, has broken his 10 year musical silence today (January 8) with a surprise new single.
Released as a video and download to coincide with the singer’s 66th birthday, ‘Where Are We Now?’ has been kept as something of a secret during its production; taking many in the industry completely off guard upon the instant internet unveiling.
This quiet announcement, without colour or fanfare is in complete opposition to the flamboyance of his famed Ziggy Stardust persona and leaves everyone wondering how, in an age when even super-injunctions can’t keep celebrities secrets, this record was made without some technician of PR accidentally dropping a clanger at any point along the way.
David Bowie has not performed in public since 2006, a year in which he played the main stage at Glastonbury, then in November with David Gilmour in London, followed by Alicia Keys at Black Ball in New York.
He also appeared in twisty magician flick, The Prestige, alongside Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, as well as showing his comic side in Ricky Gervais’ Extras as himself.
Bowie started taking it easy after suffering chest pains while on stage as part of a world tour at the Hurricane Festival in Germany in 2004 and was diagnosed with an acutely blocked artery – an emergency angioplasty had to be performed.
Afterwards it was stated he had suffered a minor heart attack, resulting from years of heavy smoking and touring.  Since then, Bowie has lived quietly in New York with wife Iman and nine-year-old daughter Alexandria, making rare public appearances.
His press representative told the BBC: “Throwing shadows and avoiding the industry treadmill is very David Bowie”, and that he was “the kind of artist who writes and performs what he wants when he wants”.
The new track was recorded in New York and produced by the Bowie’s long-time collaborator Tony Visconti, and ‘Where Are We Now?’ includes several references to Berlin, where the pair created the highly influential albums LowHeroes and Lodger during the 1970s.
The song has a haunting quality and Bowie’s vocals have a strained, almost pained dimension, as he sings nostalgically of ageing and regret over a simplified, unfussy, piano ballad.
The video also lacks the glamour of the previous trademark Bowie aesthetic. It begins with a pair of heads on the bodies of small puppets in a cluttered attic superimposed over a projector screening major events from history.
Even though this gives it the feel of a Mighty Boosh homage at first, as the video progresses it is clearly a very anguished and melancholic tale, told in the backdrop of the possessions collected and acquired over a lifetime, now rendered meaningless by the absence of their owners. It’s almost as if Bowie is longing to return to this place he once knew, to a time he could then relive, correcting the mistakes of the past.
Some suggested the female face next to Bowie is Bjork, but it clearly isn’t her face. There’s a 12 second silence at the end of the video, after the song has finished, in which Bowie and the mystery woman pull their faces from the head holes, like a face-in-the-hole photo board at the beach, as if they were poking themselves into the past for only a brief moment of agony, never to return.
This sudden return to the fold has set many a tongue enthusiastically wagging and divided fans and casual listeners alike as to the value and meaning behind the Willy Wonka of music’s return. There’s already been talk of a third Glastonbury outing and even Coachella.
The complete album, The Next Day, will be out in March to coincide with a David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Whether this comeback will herald a long-term return to music or merely a one-off album will depend greatly on the star’s own health and inclination to tour.
‘Where Are We Now?’ is laden with such heavy nostalgia and heartache it has the feeling of being his swan-song.

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