Albums to watch

Blackstar

David Bowie

Blackstar

Twenty fifth studio album from the legendary art-rock musician released on his 69th birthday and produced by long-standing collaborator Tony Visconti

ADM rating[?]

8.4

Label
Columbia
UK Release date
08/01/2016
US Release date
08/01/2016
  1. 10.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    The artist lowers his mask and takes a bow. And the audience applauds
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  2. 9.3 |   AU Review

    While the Starman himself might be no more, this album is a perfect reminder that his gift to humanity will never die
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  3. 9.3 |   Paste Magazine

    With his divine status, Blackstar becomes, in a strange way, a worship album about Bowie
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  4. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    With its simple (though oblique) lyrics and endlessly repeated choruses, it’s a secret pop record submerged in the dark places of studio improvisation
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  5. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    Blackstar is Bowie’s most unconventional album since his dual '70s masterpieces Low and ”Heroes”, and is a breathtaking and relentlessly fascinating piece of work
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  6. 9.0 |   The Quietus

    A cohesive collection that contains the same inscrutable attention to detail that a latter Scott Walker album surely would. And rejoice, because David Bowie hasn't sounded this relevant in an age
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  7. 9.0 |   Crack

    Sonically, Blackstar ignores form. As we are boisterously schlepped between realms, from free-jazz to industrial to progressive rock, Bowie’s lyrics become a thematic arc
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  8. 9.0 |   Beardfood

    Not just an icon, or a legend, but our blackstar
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  9. 9.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Will go down as one of the great Bowie albums, not simply for emerging on his deathbed but for the strength of its focus, the scale of its ambition and the clarity with which he incorporates swooning, sinister jazz with contemporary production and emerges with a quintessential statement
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  10. 9.0 |   Gig Soup

    It is an opulent, deep and strange album. Bowie seems to be moving agitatedly forward. Always looking ahead: the point in which he has made his greatest music
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  11. 9.0 |   music OMH

    It’s an album that sums up Bowie as an artist – restless, audacious, constantly looking forward to the next new idea
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  12. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    As with David Bowie’s entire career, he’s once again given us enough to keep us wanting more, while reminding us of all the inspired gifts that came before
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  13. 8.5 |   Pitchfork

    Though this mix of jazz, malice, and historical role-play is intoxicating, Blackstar becomes whole with its two-song denouement, which balances out the bruises and blood with a couple of salty tears
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  14. 8.3 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    With Blackstar David Bowie remains an enigma, musically and lyrically. He emerges from isolation here and there to unleash some of the best music of his career
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  15. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Blackstar is a battle cry against boredom, a wide-eyed drama set in a world just beyond our scopes. It doesn’t get more Bowie than that
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  16. 8.3 |   Earbuddy

    Even out of the context of a multi-decade career, David Bowie's latest is... weird
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  17. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Hunting for patterns or for humanity on Blackstar is less the point than enjoying the majesty of David Bowie, even on the verge of his death, sounding this incredibly alive
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  18. 8.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    The album may or may not be a masterpiece, but it’s a heartbreaker, a miracle. Most importantly, it’s a lively, smartly constructed, and unsentimental collection of pop songs
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  19. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    A puzzle begging for examination, and a solidly unique work from an artist who is no stranger to breaking boundaries
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  20. 8.0 |   God Is In The TV

    It does require quite a few listens as an album in order to get to grips with it, but Bowie has rarely concerned himself with making albums that are simply background music
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  21. 8.0 |   The Observer

    You have to assume Bowie is tackling myriad theatrical voices as Blackstar throws up one unsettling scenario after another, with little obvious connection other than unease and the outrageously good soundtrack in which they are set
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  22. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    With Blackstar, Bowie disengages himself once again from popular opinion and scoffs at the idea of taking the righteous path, finding inspiration in what is immoral and contentious
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  23. 8.0 |   The List

    With this, a one-off comeback becomes another prime Bowie era to rank alongside those of Ziggy Stardust, the Berlin years and ‘Let’s Dance’
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  24. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    A compelling proposition; fluted, meditative, a rejection of pop’s prissy little contours
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  25. 8.0 |   All Music

    Bowie's joy in emphasizing the art in art-pop is palpable and its elegant, unhurried march resonates deeply
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  26. 8.0 |   The FT

    Blackstar is atmospheric and adventurous
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  27. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Bowie's best anti-pop masterpiece since the Seventies
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  28. 8.0 |   The Independent

    The most extreme album of his entire career: Blackstar is as far as he's strayed from pop
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  29. 8.0 |   The Music

    A fierce, enchanting and honest release
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  30. 8.0 |   Uncut

    It does represent yet another marvelous reinvention for Bowie. Print edition only

  31. 8.0 |   Q

    Freshly-rediscovered individualistic path where sonic surprises lurk around every corner. Print edition only

  32. 8.0 |   Mojo

    David Bowie’s genius here has been in jettisoning his regular cohorts. Print edition only

  33. 8.0 |   NME

    One of the few certainties we can take from this restless, relentlessly intriguing album is that David Bowie is positively allergic to the idea of heritage rock
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  34. 8.0 |   NOW

    The ballad Dollar Days is the softest, most classically Bowie moment, but even more Bowie is the way his grand sense of alienation comes through so recognizably in new musical terrain
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  35. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    His lyrics and vocals are oblique and otherworldly, freed from the shackles of indie rock
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  36. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    It’s a rich, deep and strange album that feels like Bowie moving restlessly forward, his eyes fixed ahead: the position in which he’s always made his greatest music
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  37. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    This is David Bowie still following the music he hears in his head; what comes after this is anyone’s guess
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  38. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    It’s a defining statement from someone who isn’t interested in living in the past, but rather, for the first time in a while, waiting for everyone else to catch up
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  39. 8.0 |   DIY

    ‘Blackstar’ seems to be him giving everything, allowing all of his creative impulses to flourish
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  40. 7.0 |   Spin

    Blackstar finds Bowie and longtime producer Tony Visconti as hungry as they ever were, and with no modern context into which the artist can insert himself (including rock) he’s free to do what he likes
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David Bowie: Blackstar

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