The cover art for David Bowie’s “The Next Day” springs forth as though it came from an Internet meme, with a white box drawn over the cover of 1977′s “‘Heroes’” stating the new record’s title.
Unlike the art, however, Bowie doesn’t obscure his past on “Next Day,” creating a work that is the descendent of his first 15 years.
It’s the Thin White Duke’s first slab since 2003′s “Reality,” but “Next Day” is his most consistent outing in 25 years.
After going on a stylistic spirit quest – including blue-eyed soul, industrial rock and jungle – for much of the past quarter century, “Next Day” acts as an early career retrospective.
“Love is Lost” recalls his ’80s apex of commercial success, awash in synth, but much of the rest of the record tries to catch up with Bowie’s art and glam rock ’70s pinnacle, making the reference on the cover to “Heroes” a bit of hand holding for listeners.
It’s a better record than anyone should expect from the 66-year-old Duke at this stage of his career. There isn’t much to ch-ch-change minds, but Bowie faithful should be satisfied.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.