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Bowie's back: new single now, album coming

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Happy birthday, Bowie -- you got us a gift?

David Bowie, 66 today, posted a new single on his web site this morning and teased the pending arrival of a new album -- his 30th, and his first in a decade -- titled "The Next Day."

The new single, "Where Are We Now" (available exclusively on iTunes), is a sedate, somewhat gloomy reminiscence of the neighborhood where he recorded his Berlin Trilogy ("Low," "Heroes," "Lodger") in the 1970s. You'll need a dustpan to sweep up all the German place names Bowie drops within the first couple of verses. Meanwhile, the creepy doll heads in the video are typically unnerving Bowie imagery. But a nostalgic Bowie is an unsettling prospect, and this slow, moody song is a puzzling return.

But "The Next Day" is produced by Tony Visconti, with whom Bowie has produced some of his finest work -- including his last two albums, "Heathen" (2002) and "Reality" (2003). Both records were made almost entirely between the two men (aside from the great Pete Townshend guitar on the aptly titled "Slow Burn," etc.), and they're excellent -- and criminally under-acclaimed -- sets of unaffected pop genius.

If a new recording is on the horizon, can a tour be far behind? At the very least, let's hope Lollapalooza's booking agents are on the phone right now offering the moon and then some.

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You either like Bowie or you don't. I like the new song and look forward to the new album. Heathen is a real treasure.

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.


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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on January 8, 2013 10:33 AM.

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