On what would have been David Bowie’s 70th birthday, a new EP dropped containing the last ever recordings taken from the Blackstar album sessions. The songs were technically revealed in the last quarter of 2016 but having them all together on an EP like this is a beautiful touch, especially considering the time of release.
The opening song is one we all know in Lazarus, a song originally released on Bowie’s last album Blackstar a year ago. It’s one of the stand out tracks from that album so to have it open this EP is a nice touch. The first of the new songs comes next in the form of No Plan, which right from the very start sounds absolutely gorgeous. The guitar playing in particular alongside the crystal clear drums is a stand out part of the song with the chord progression providing Bowie the best foundation imaginable to sing over. It’s remarkable to think that Bowie was seriously ill while recording this song, given his ability to control and lead a song is so prominent from the beginning. It’s an incredible song with one wondering if it could have actually made the Blackstar album track list, or, if Bowie delivery left it off so it could be released a year later.
- No Plan
- Killing A Little Time
- When I Met You
Killing A Little Time follows and is the complete opposite in sound and feel to No Plan. The laid back feeling is nowhere to be found, replaced instead with a very manic sounding musical confusion, which if every instrument were to be played separately may sound out of place. But together a masterpiece if formed. Bowie’s drive remains, his lyrical talent shining through for all to hear. It’s a strong vocal performance from Bowie as well which continues into the fourth and final track, When I Met You. This song has more of an unplugged kind of feel to it compared to the previous two songs with the incredible bass line leading the song forward. In fact the more I listen to the bass the more I think it sounds like the bass from his song It’s No Game (Part 1) from his 1980 album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps). The ending of the song is beautifully done too as it almost sounds like an engine or a machine being turned off. Perhaps I’m reading too much into that but if this was the last song Bowie ever recorded it’s one hell of a way to end the song, effectively bringing Bowie’s recording career to an end.
Overall it’s an incredible release and even though it’s only a four track EP with three of the songs being new, it’s well worth having.