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July 23, 2024

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David Bowie
Heathen (ISO/Columbia)

By: Alex Steininger

With a sticker on the front of the jewel case describing Heathen as "classic David Bowie circa 2002", in reference to many people calling this Bowie's best album since the mid-70's, you know something is up. But the question is, is this Bowie's best album since the mid-70's or is it an over-hyped nostalgia trip from a musician who should just give up and retire as Bowie has displayed on select albums throughout the eighties and nineties?

The answer is that Heathen is as good as any of Bowie's work in the 70's. Maybe not his best work ever, but the best work he's done in a long time. However, it also not a rehash of his classic material; it expands on territory previously covered by Bowie, while forging ahead and allowing him to grow as a singer and a songwriter.

Heathen finds Bowie reinventing himself, repositioning his standing in the music world, and revitalizing his overall approach to music. With help from other celebrity musicians - The Who's Pete Townshend (guitar on "Slow Burn") and Foo Fighter's Dave Grohl (guitar on "I've Been Waiting For You") - Bowie stays ahead of the curve, stylish and hip.

After listening to Heathen you will agree, it is "classic David Bowie circa 2002". He has raised the bar for himself here. Now, can he top it in years down the line? Only time will tell. I'll give this an A.

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