On the day of David Bowie’s 66th birthday, the intro to his new single ‘Where Are We Now?’ sounds more like the start of a Barry White track. After a silence and presumed retirement spanning a decade, this single shows signs of activity behind the solid, mahogany doors of Bowieland. Weeping resonance from guitars and warm punches from the piano set ‘Where Are We Now?’ to be an intimate, reflective track for Bowie; something very poignant and therapeutic to bear witness to.
Fans of Bowie will no doubt be fixing their smudged Ziggy make-up after listening to what feels like the last lamenting song of the hero in a musical. For less well-read fans in the subject of Bowie, he could seem to be meticulously pasticheing in the final chorus of the track, with punchy drum beats and repetitive lyrics seemingly plucked from the Coldplay B-sides. Again the lyrics, whilst possible to be viewed as slightly uninspired “As long as there’s me, As long as there’s you”, fit with the simple, honest feeling of the song. It seems the wider context of Bowie’s single release is causing more of a stir than the actual song, with social networking sites being filled with news of Bowie’s return.
If the new album ‘The Next Day’, due to be released in March follows a similar pattern to the long-awaited single, it would be fair to assume it’s imminent overthrowing of Adele’s ‘21’ album as being the most returned CD to shops. Perhaps this is the next phase of Bowie, the reflective indoors-man, and it certainly seems that way, with a Bowie spokesperson announcing no plans for upcoming tours, or even the possibility of interviews.
The accompanying music video directed by Tony Oursler is interesting to say the least. The reflective mood of the video is the only thing worth saying about it to be honest. It is very difficult to watch without thinking you’re missing a point, like when you walk past pictures of corpses in art galleries and wonder why you paid the tube fare to get there.