The live stream on iTunes came as a welcome, but nerve-wracking, surprise. What if it’s not good. What if it’s mind-numbingly awful. What if it’s — somehow, worse yet — simply mediocre.
I needn’t have worried. It nearly (nearly) made me cry — because it’s so good. It’s so, so good.
Awhile back I made a request of the universe, that Bowie would release a sequel to Earthling. After hearing the first couple of tracks, I thought — he’s done us one better. He’s given us a sequel to Low. But after hearing the record through, it’s obvious that this record is a sequel to nothing; it’s ballsy, expansive, and somehow — despite being a stand-alone, unique new record — sounds like authentic Bowie. It’s “real” Bowie, if that’s something you can even define or encapsulate.
(Despite the fact that the new album is now available — in streaming form — for me, this blog still goes on until March 11. I’m not done with this yet, and I don’t want to be.)
Always Crashing In The Same Car is apparently (apparently) about repeating the same mistakes, over and over. And it’s apparently (apparently) about Bowie’s struggle with addiction.
I have a strange experience, now, listening to this song. I keep seeing the image in my head, not of 1977 Bowie, but of 1997 Bowie. That could be a simple result of my deep affinity for this period of Bowie music (Outside the exception), or it could link somehow to the sound of his voice, plain and distinctly Bowie, that just falls neatly into who he purported to be in 1997: 50 but still relevant, a veteran but still edgy.
When I first decided to post about this song, I wanted to connect it to Slaughterhouse Five. Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time; this keeps going through my head when I hear this tune. It exists in some box in 1977, but somehow, chases Bowie through the eras.
(It’s The Next Day, a new day, and he’s not quite dying… I love, I love, I love…)