Bowie is back with his 25th studio album just in time to mark his 69th birthday. In a nod to his 1977 Berlin-period albums Low and Heroes, Blackstar’s title track is a 10-minute, multilayered masterpiece that evokes an eerie, experimental Krautrock ambiance reminiscent of Amon Düül II’s “Surrounded by the Stars” mixed with Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song.” The killer sax on the seamy “Lazarus” brings it to life. Rerecorded versions of the avant-jazz-noir-flavored “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)” and the relentlessly rhythmic, John Ford–referencing “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore” are also featured. From Space Oddity to Blackstar, the prettiest starman continues to blow our minds.


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