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David Bowie - Blackstar LP

Posted by LionsMouth 
Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 3,563
Status: Instigator
avatar Re: David Bowie - Blackstar LP
January 13, 2016 01:07PM
Alright, I gotta say I listened to this last night for the first time all the way through.

My man Lions Mouth came thru in a pinch and ordered this before he passed away and it arrived yesterday and it goes without saying that I truly appreciate it.

BTW, the record sounds fantastic, if you are concerned with pressing quality, there's no worries with this, it is exemplary. That said, the artwork is very cool, but from my experience covers with cut outs or pop ups get destroyed very quickly so if you buy this make sure you have a plastic outer sleeve on it to protect the star from getting torn by sliding against other covers.

The Music:

So I was basically stunned listening to this. Had I heard this album before he died I would have thought it was sheer genius and hailed it as another successful Bowie excursion. But knowing he wrote this album as he was well aware that he was dying and knowing now that this is basically his goodbye gift to the world it has an unheard of element of artistic truth to it that cannot be fucked with. Even more so than with, say, Johnny Cash's last "Fuck you country music" albums, I'm gonna do rock covers, this Black Star album is much more somber, deeply poetic and even more real than that because it directly addresses his facing his own death from the first to the last song.

Just imagine that for a second. Even for someone as talented as Bowie putting your final goodbyes and fears and thoughts and loves and hates down is a daunting challenge. I can't imagine the kind of pressure involved to accomplish such a feat, yet he did it gracefully and the album in all it's truths passed with flying colors.

How would you make your last piece of art knowing it would be the last chance you'd ever make art? How would you make it worthy of your best work all while on your deathbed. If you are Bowie, you don't hide from the deathbed, you throw it in our faces on an album.

He tried to look old and sickly in that video, because he WAS old and sickly and he was at peace with it. He was being as real as his situation was. Not a lot of people could be dark on their final piece of art, they would hide from their fears or boldly front like they will rise above it like an angel on his way to heaven for the sake of friends and family left behind.

Bowie on the other hand welcomed it, blasted it, reminisced on his life, on his regrets, on the petty things we do every day and don't even think about. He spoke of the kind of truths only revealed to someone after they have confronted their own death.

Listening to this album start to back was the story of him welcoming his end. I was stunned at the level of control he had over every single nuance in this album. For example, there are a lot of highly advanced yet subtly-so saxophone solos that fully encompass his message and could not be more perfect for the mood of the song. The drum programming and loops were hauntingly "on". Even in his weakened state of cancer, he clearly had his wits about him and had full creative control of his final work of art on a level that I've never heard ever on an album like this.

The last song comes on after a emotional ride of an album and you can't help but wonder something like... "Ok, this is his last song on his last album and he compiled the album in this order himself so he knew it would contain his last note." "What kind of epic, life-enriching ah-ha moment ending is this going to be?" Then just as subtly as it began it ended. Nothing epic, nothing sustained simply for long drawn out decrescendo's sake. I cannot describe the last song other than to say it is a simple unpretentious wisdom, an acknowledgement that the end is ready for him.

Bowie could have faded away without creating this album. But he had to make it because that "creating" was a part of him his entire life. He knew with that album production occupying his final months he could find peace and leave an enduring message and closure with everyone who he touched and touched him in his lifetime.

“Lesser artists borrow... great artists steal.” - Igor Stravinsky
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Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 1,221
Status: Moderator
avatar Re: David Bowie - Blackstar LP
January 13, 2016 07:11PM
^Great perspective on the album. Re: the drums, can't remember if I said this but I honestly cannot tell what was played by a human, what was sampled from live drums and programmed, and what was 100% programmed. The production and mix has a very seamless quality to it. I listened to the album again last night and it continues to impress. Really something special. Re: the pressing, MPO seems to have been on a hot streak lately. That plant has been hit or miss in the past but the last few records I've got that were pressed there were very well pressed, as good as any plant out there.


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