Imagine every one's surprise when David Bowie released a comeback single, "Where Are We Now?" on Jan. 8, and also announced plans to release a new album 'The Next Day' come March, all on the occasion of celebrating his 66th birthday.
In just a few days, "Where Are We Now?" has generated great buzz on American and British radio ~ I first learned about it while listening to the "Morning Becomes Eclectic" show via KCRW.com ~ and the song's been widely written about on both sides of the Atlantic.
In an article published Friday in London's The Guardian, Bowie's producer, Tony Visconti, called the new album "eclectic," saying "it's got five really blistering rock tracks. The rest is really mid-tempo, mysterious and evocative.
"The elegiac balladry of 'Where Are We Now?' isn't particularly representative,"he says. "He's been obsessed with medieval English history, which, believe it or not, makes great material for a rock song. And contemporary Russian history, which makes for a great rock song. The subject matter he chose to write about is amazing. ... One thing the album's got is a lot of substance. You're going to have to listen to it many times, because the lyrical content's going to take a long time to absorb."
Visconti went on to tell The Guardian that on "Where Are We Now?" Bowie is "singing very low-key on the single. A lot of people have misinterpreted that, thinking he's going to sound old and frail on this record, but for that song he wanted to sound vulnerable. Big difference. Elsewhere, he's singing in full voice, that voice you hear on 'Heroes'."
See for yourself ~ I've linked the very creative video filmed by Tony Oursler for "Where Are We Now?" Indeed, it's a very melancholy sound for Bowie. Yet, each time I hear the song, it grows on me. I like it more and more. It's innovative and beautiful.
Vulnerable equals enjoyable.
You knew that David Bowie, the artist, couldn't sit on his creativity forever.