Track Review: David Bowie – Where Are We Now?

by Sam Skilton
For almost a decade, David Bowie has been gone, but never forgotten. Becoming something of a recluse in New York, up until last week the Thin White Duke had not released any material in ten years. But as was always the case, the public still cling to his every move. On his 66th birthday, Bowie surprised the music world with his grand comeback.
‘Where Are We Now?’ is a reflection. It revisits the Berlin era, during which Bowie lived with Iggy Pop and worked on three albums with producer Tony Visconti, and it is fitting that Visconti, who has also worked with the likes of T. Rex, Morrissey, Manic Street Preachers and Kaiser Chiefs in the past, has once again played an active part in Bowie’s material. The lyrics describe the abolishment of the Berlin wall and the bridge which separated the East from the West (“Twenty thousand people/Cross Bose Brucke) amongst other aspects of Germany in the late 1970s. The cover art for his new album ‘The Next Day’ (due in March), is an adaptation of the ‘Heroes’ sleeve, which was produced during his time in Berlin.
Musically, the track is expertly structured, which is no surprise given that Bowie has had a decade to work on it. Its dreamy rhythm reflects the meaning behind it, and while it reminisces of the past it manages to reflect the continuous beauty of life. Although the release has sparked Glastonbury rumours, Visconti has ruled out the possibility of Bowie performing live this year.
Release Date: 08 January 2013
Record Label: Columbia
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