FRIDAY, 11 JANUARY 2013
David Bowie: What We Can Expect From ‘The Next Day’
Bowie’s back and its excellent. His new song, ‘Where Are We Now?’ was released on his 66th Birthday and the video features himself and a woman in ‘face in a hole’ puppets in front of a black and white video montage of Berlin, a place where he spent a large amount of time making music, and an even larger amount of time taking cocaine and hanging out with Iggy Pop.
With the new album, ‘The Next Day’, due to be released in March, featuring a cover that can only be described as a very ‘Bowie’ take on the previous album cover of ‘Heroes’, it might be quite fun, though ultimately pointless, to have a quick guess as to what it will almost definitely sound like. All we have to go on, at the moment, are song titles.
The album is said to have been produced by Brian Cox-Eno, an artificially engineered part human part robot who only speaks the language of ‘Synth’, in a very purposeful, very slow Mancunian accent. Recording took place in the very small, one bedroom Spaceship Studio anchored to the International Space Station and there was said to have been a strict daily routine of listening to Roxy Music and watching Wonders of the Universe each morning before recording began.
Opener ‘The Next Day’ is an instrumental number with the only discernible sound being the harsh croaking of a set of Space Iguanas, obtained while Cox-Eno was on a family skiing holiday on Mars. An as-of-yet secret method of producing noise from a Space Iguana has been celebrated as a highly innovative musical breakthrough and Cox-Eno is said to be contemplating a full length concept album with the Iguana Chorus.
‘Dirty Boys’ tells the true story of the time the water went off in the spaceship studio and Bowie and Cox-Eno resorted to washing their clothes in the wind, to mixed results.
‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’ is a wistful, romantic ballad with Cox-Eno featuring heavily in the video. The song is said to an ode to the ‘billions and billions’ of stars and a sentimental thought to the fragility of human life and aesthetic beauty reflected in the solar system.
‘Love is Lost’ is a short, witty song that tells the story of the time Bowie and Cox-Eno lost their space dog, ‘Love’, on Mars during an expedition in search for life. The dog ran away and the pair spent hours chasing after him in a rather slapstick pursuit. According to onlookers, the sight of Bowie running around on Mars shouting ‘Love?’ was so Earth-shattering, it nearly shattered Earth.
There was, famously, only enough room for a bunk bed on board the Spaceship Studio. ‘I’d Rather Be High’, is an autobiographical song featuring both Bowie and Cox-Eno on vocals. A whimsical duet, the song is the story of the discussion which took place about sleeping arrangements while on the Spaceship Studio. It is also said to be a sentimental thought to the fragility of human life and aesthetic beauty reflected in the solar system.
The pair were isolated from Earth for a long time and as it may be expected, given such close proximity, there were the occasional fall outs. ‘Boss of Me’ is an angry song, in the style of Carly Simon’s ‘You’re so Vain’ and tells of a series of arguments over the direction of the album.
Bowie was said to be increasingly frustrated with the control Cox-Eno was having over Bowie’s music. Thankfully, they became friends again, and that is where ‘Dancing Out in Space’, a saxophone-infused sentimental thought to the fragility of human life and aesthetic beauty reflected in the solar system, came from.
Only time will tell what exactly the new David Bowie album will sound like, but I think it’s safe to say it will probably sound almost exactly like I’ve just described.