David Bowie - 'Blackstar'

9/10

Having announced last year that he plans to never tour again, David Bowie certainly doesn't look like he is ready to give up the creative side of his persona just yet. Arriving three years after his much-praised album 'The Next Day', this new release is seen more of a concept record as Bowie plays frontman to Donny McCaslin's New York-based jazz outfit throughout. The combination of Bowie's haunting vocals and the band's tight yet left-of-centre arrangements gives the album a sound like no other.

With its 10-minute long opener and title-track, 'Blackstar' is certainly built to be an album of cohesion. Skipping a track on this record would be like fast-forwarding a film, where you would miss out on the vital building blocks that create this album's brilliant crescendo. It seems to flow with this quintessential elegance that makes it an easy listen and a challenge in equal measure, creating what could already be a contender for album of the year already.

It certainly reflects the position that Bowie left himself on after 'The Last Day' and aims to once again reinvent an artist that seems to endlessly want to change his spots. A fantastic release and no doubt one of the best of his career.

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