She’s so swishy in her satin and tat… In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat…

I know this song’s opening riff for one reason, and one reason only: it fares prominently in a scene from Milk, where a montage shows the exploits and mood of The Castro in the early 1970s. Up until a few days ago, I did not know this was a Bowie song — in retrospect, it’s not all that surprising.

Intelligent Life, in its recent and rave review of Bowie’s new single, “Where Are We Now?” stated that:

“[The single] takes up the baton not from “Reality”, but from the less remembered “Hours…” (1999). For most of that album, Bowie assumed the persona of an ordinary middle-aged man facing up to failure. Here, he goes one better: he sounds old.”

(As a side point, when I first heard the single, with high-quality sound, and before reading that article, I thought exactly the same thing. He sounds old. He sounds his age. Which is, in a moment, appropriate, beautiful, profound and touching.)

Dare I say, in Queen Bitch, Bowie sounds young. He sounds like a kid who hasn’t found his vocals yet, who is more interested in playing with lyrics and guitar riffs than with the nuances of breath and tone.

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