David Bowie: Where Are We Now?

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Posted January 21, 2013 by in
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Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

4/ 5

Details

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Genre: Rock
 
Producer: Tony Visconti
 
Writer: David Bowie
 
Label: ISO, Columbia
 
Format: Digital download
 
Release Date: 8 January 2013
 

Pros:

Bowie returns with a melodic ballad dipped with modern-day alt-rock magnificence in the lines of R.E.M.'s Collapse Into Now
 

Cons:

Some will see this as a morbid piece of work pointing at a forthcoming mental breakdown
 

The Thin White Duke returns to the soundstage with haunting alt-rock ode to his hometown

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

The Thin White Duke returns to the soundstage with haunting alt-rock ode to his hometown

Breaking a ten-year silence, David Bowie steps back into his formidable muse with possibly the most important single to define his golden years. “Where Are We Now” sounds like it could’ve been extracted from 2002’s Heathen (see “Slip Away”) or 2003’s Reality (see “The Loneliest Guy”), but it dips further into a melancholic grease, while imploring heavy drumming and a Michael Stipe-R.E.M. presence. The tone in Bowie’s voice carries a tint of concern, but it’s the kind of character he’s playing as he fumbles through the discoveries of a modern-day Berlin breaking away from its gloomy Iron Curtain era. Inside, Bowie travels through an assortment of Berlin landmarks (“A man lost in time/Near KaDeWe/Just walking the dead”), places that bring back old memories while also creating a cloud of mystery for what’s to come. It’s like walking through a tunnel of scrapbook nostalgia with early dementia in hand. It sounds a bit scary to digest, particularly if Bowie’s facing his own fear of aging. But the song makes a major statement with its broody subject matter and the simple alt-rock arrangement of the guitar strums, stretched-out keyboard synths and the piano chords in the front. He’s back, whether you like aging Bowie or not.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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