Just when you thought guitar, bass and drums had nothing new to say; just when you thought a fresh-off-the-slab Stereophonics album had proved, conclusively, that rock n’ roll was dead, along comes Bowie to blow us all away. Again.
The title track has more life in one upward inflection than most bands can summon in a career. Valentine’s Day slams Brett Anderson against a mirror and proceeds to rabbit punch his kidneys into a pissy purée for three minutes while whispering in his ear “This. Is. How. It’s. Done.” If You Can See Me then pulls the same trick on Bono and I’d Rather Be High makes the triumverate, with Liam Gallagher (of all people) Bowie’s suddenly blood-wazzing victim – the whole album is basically Dame Dave handing the entire rock world its ass with a postcard in the crack reading ”This is how you make relevant music.”
And why is it relevant? Because it violently smears shadows across the music even as it rails against them. Because it is what life is – a defiant daily cry that should only get more strident and more powerful as Bowie actually approaches death.
He’s on a win-win all the way to the glam rock grave. So long as he side-steps that Tin Machine reunion.