In early January, we got the news from left field that David Bowie would be issuing his first album in a decade this Spring. My night owl lifestyle has paid off once again, as just moments ago Bowie’s YouTube channel posted a second video from the upcoming The Next Day LP.
Whereas “Where Are We Now” harkened back to 1999’s …hours album (admittedly not one of my favorites), “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” is more in line with Bowie’s two most recent albums, Heathen and Reality. And of course, by most recent, we mean 2002 and 2003, respectively. The song is an uptempo, yet ominous rocker, which seems to be where Bowie is most comfortable these days (and that’s fine by this diamond dog). But the video is something else. Cinematic, eerie, humorous, creepy.
“The Stars” reunites Bowie with director Floria Sigismondi, who directed two clips from Bowie’s excellent Earthling album in the mid 1990s (“Little Wonder” and “Dead Man Walking“). In fact, Sigismondi has a rather impressive portfolio, having directed videos for The Cure, Marilyn Manson, The White Stripes, Katy Perry, Fiona Apple, and Sigur Ros, among others, in addition to three feature films.
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” makes a sort of Lynchian contrast between painfully normal suburban life and the dark, even demonic element that is always lurking in the shadows. Beyond that, I’m not quite sure what to make of the narrative, except that I find it incredibly interesting and engaging. Bowie’s always been as much a visual artist as a musical one, and tends to take his music videos rather seriously. “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” continues that tradition, and truthfully, the video might be more compelling than the song. Check it out below, and let us know what you think!
The Next Day hits real and virtual shelves on March 12th.