If you just let your mind wander, and the record play, of course, centralized themes appear. One main topic is the usual Bowie house of religion. Coming out of the gate, the title track screams God and Devil and Dame Bowie doesn't stop pushing the envelope until the absolute last song. All the more reason why, in this case, he's stuck between his Hunky Dory and TWD phase, with a splash of later albums 'hours...' and 'Heathen'. The era where swastikas were running rampant in his mind and Nietzsche was a popular subject, as well as the new school Christian and atheist way of thinking. The ball seems continually dropped and won't stop bouncing in db's court, in regards to religion, although he never admitted to keeping one form under his preying (sic) belt.
On the subject of 'Hours...', there are songs on this new disc that are reminiscent. Ones that think upon the past with worry, and try to come up with something better for the future (although no demand will be made until the Heathen album).
Another topic of discussion should be the question of death and destruction. More importantly the death aspect. Seems like if he's not talking about the devil, it's death. So... the devil is dead? Common sentence/ phrase through out The Next Day: "walking the dead".
It seems like he's invoking a lot of his old work and presenting it with a fresh pair of musical eyes. Formatting his style to the hard core neo rock that should be put into a radio station. Being the chameleon he is, maybe the rehash of themes is keeping him level. It's pushing him forward, this being the first album in a decade, but it's also keeping him back, because there are too many 2001 New York questions in the underlay. I thought that was what Reality was about? Whatever was left over from Heathen was tracked and published in 2003? Or, is it a thoughtful suspense a la Outside? I don't know. It's getting more confusing the more I think about it. There is a little thump thump thumping from 1997's Earthling.
Can't keep comparing apples to oranges. Must see the album as it really is. A new 17 track listed time warp of a rock piece from a man that people thought would never record a new anything again...
Definitely worth nipping it out. Seriously...
And, for the daily picture dump and the reason why I wrote this today:
Yes, they are dark. Especially the first one. I had sunglasses on and what made me stop was the fact it looked that dark in the background and I happened to be listening to Where Are We Now? and the line was "As long as there's sun. As long there's sun. As long as there's rain. As long as there's rain. As long there's fire. As long as there's fire. As long as there's me. As long as there's you". It just seemed rather fitting. I didn't feel like throwing it in Photoshop and editing, too much to take away at that level.