Look out rock–n’–rollers, Bowie is coming through


Shayna Reznikov

Some of Bowie’s fans commemoration

Ariana Santilli, exucutive features editor

I am not writing a review on David Bowie’s last legacy, “Blackstar” because I feel like I have to honor him. I am writing this review because he deserves to have at least one article in the Charger written about his talent and not the way he died.

When I finally sat down, ready to listen to his last piece of music, I tried to push the pity–factor out of my mind. Fortunately, I loved this album enough not to be the idiot who rains on a dead man’s parade. The album was full of all the things many loved about David Bowie: wit, complexity and sway.

However, this album was distinctive. When I listened to the lyrics, “You know I’ll be free/ just like that bluebird/ oh ain’t it just like me?” in his song “Lazarus,” I had to stop everything I was doing. Most music I can just let fade into the background and tune it out as I work diligently. But this time, it was different.

From the electric strum of guitar to Bowie’s hauntingly husky tone, I was forced to not only hear but listen to every single word. I am quite happy that I did, because I discovered

his hidden meanings throughout the album. Bowie’s message was simple: death may scare me, but I am proud to admit my fears and failures. Do not remember me as a hero. Remember me as someone who was foolish, crazy, and yes, a little cool.

Never in his career had Bowie reached such a creative high point, as he did in Blackstar. The rhythmic instrumentals were so intense that I felt as if my head was spinning on a dubstep version of a carousel. Featuring voice echoes and drum beats, each of Bowie’s songs told a story with the instruments alone. They yearned with Bowie and created lyrics within themselves.

In his song “Dollar Days,” Bowie’s vulnerable tone of voice was straining above a sea of guitars: “If I’ll never see the English evergreens I’ m running to/ It’s nothing to see/It’s nothing to me.” I know you are wondering why such simple lyrics would stick out to me. It was the way he sang them. His voice was crying out in a peculiar yet satisfying combination of pain and acceptance. The raging guitar solo and the constant echo of “I’m trying to,” and “I’m dying to” created an intense mood that was impossible to run from.

When you think of this album, think of a nighttime ride on the London Underground. You cannot wait until you get home, but you aren’t really sure where that is anymore. You feel kind of lost, and not in the cliche Nicholas Sparks way, but in the I– have–just–reached–adulthood way. This album wisely juxtaposes comfort and fear; a reflection of the way Bowie felt in his final days.

His last song on the album, “I can’t give everything away” is a beautiful and iconic farewell. He tells the world, “Seeing more and feeling less/ saying no but meaning yes/ this is all I ever meant/ that’s the message that I sent.”

I could very well be wrong, but I think that what he was trying to say was– stop overthinking. Not over him, but over yourself. We cannot create these grand expectations and assume we will fulfill them. What we can do, is live life not caring what anybody else thinks, and have the courage to face the prospect of failure.